Pacific Coast SunTrail Route: Scenic Highway 1 Made Accessible to Electric Cars


To adventurers familiar with the beauty of the central and northern California coast, the drive along Highway 1 is one of the most attractive road trips in the United States. It is the kind of journey that is so enjoyable, people often consider the drive to be the main event, as much as time spent at one of the idyllic destinations along the route. 


Except for owners of the Tesla Model S, electric car drivers have not had access to the sparsely populated scenic coastline. Entrepreneur Richard Sachen intends to change that. Sachen's company Sunspeed Enterprises is developing a network of electric vehicle charging stations along the Pacific Coast Highway. These are not modeled on the quick in-and-out of gasoline stations. The charge points will be located at inns, restaurants, and resorts that can offer drivers rest, replenishment, and refreshment while your car is recharging. 


Sachen says that the ethic of environmental responsibility was the central theme of the idea: "Our network of charging station hubs is designed to allow EV drivers to enjoy the beauty of the California Coast while leaving the grass as green, the sun as golden, and the sky as blue as they found it."


The plan is ambitious; Sachen envisions a series of charging stations along the Pacific Coast Highway from Eureka to Malibu. Some of the users will be visitors from nearby population centers, like residents of Marin and Sonoma counties who want to access the coast and return the same day. Others will be vacation travelers who desire the kind of trip where you stop at least once an hour and explore the local environs. 


The charging hubs will have at least one 480v DC CHAdeMO fast charging station, capable of charging an EV in 20-30 minutes. The fast charge stations will ultimately be upgraded to support the SAE standard used in European and American electric cars now entering production.  Each charge hub will also have two Level-2 220v AC charging stations capable of charging most EVs at the rate of 20 miles per hour, useful for travelers with longer stops or shorter trips. 


The sites will support a wide range of payment types; magnetic credit card, RFID, Smart Credit Card, Smart Phone, and cell phone where cell service is available. 


The first charge point, located outside the old Livery Stable at Point Reyes Station is open now. Other sites scheduled to open soon include: St. Orres Hotel in Gualala; Stewarts Point; Jenner; Duncans Mills; and the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo.


More information about the Pacific Coast SunTrail Route charging network, sponsorship opportunities and the status of individual stations can be found on the SunSpeed web site at

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