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Spokane, Inland Northwest see increase in electric vehicles

Over a period of three years, an Avista pilot program installed 439 charging ports to business and other establishments around the area, including in smaller cities.

SPOKANE, Wash. — The number of electric vehicles around the Inland Northwest is increasing as more charging ports are added.

Over a period of three years, an Avista pilot program installed 439 charging ports to business and other establishments around the area, including in smaller cities like Rosalia, Palouse and Garfield.

“People think about electricity like they do gas, but that’s a false analogy, because electricity is a third to a fifth of the cost of gasoline,” said Charlotte Omotto, who owns an electric vehicle.

A self-proclaimed electric vehicle enthusiast, Omotto has sponsored electric drive events for four years.

She said Avista installing more ports attracts drivers passing through the area to stop and charge locally.

“I think that’s gotten people more aware,” Omotto said. “I mean, Spokane is full of them.”

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She said while many people might think electric vehicles aren’t practical for winter driving in the INW, the cars don’t have a problem trekking through snowy roads.

“The battery is between all four wheels at the center of the car, so the center of gravity is low and centered,” she said.

Electric vehicles might not be popular in the INW, but Omotto said it won’t be long before there are many more of the rides cruising the roads.

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