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The state of Washington is hoping to turn the interstate 5 corridor that runs from Canadian border to Oregon into the nation's first electric highway. With the help of a $1.32 million federal grant, Washington hopes to install between seven and 10 so-called Level 3 electric vehicle charging stations along the main north-south road. Level 3 stations charge at 400 volts and 30 amps or more. Such stations can charge a typical EV battery to 80 percent full in under 30 minutes.

All of the Coulomb Technologies charging units that we've seen thus far are rectangular units that sit on poles or hang from the wall. A new ChargePoint unit that Coulomb is developing with Aker Wade Power Technologies looks much more like a standard gas pump and, more importantly, will provide fast Level 3 charging. These units, which will be available to buy this fall for around $40,000 (and $20,000 to install!), draw power from dedicated 480-volt, 125-amp circuits and can theoretically deliv