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Monday, May 20, 2013

Why EVs Are Perfect for Oregon - Reason 2: Infrastructure

In 2010, Portland General Electric installed North America's first public DC Fast Charger (DCFC). By 2012, the makers of PlugShare said that Portland had more EV infrastructure per capita than any other US city. With 48 DCFC stations online today, Oregon currently has more fast charge infrastructure than any other state in the country. California (a much larger state) is 2nd with 39 DCFC stations.

Oregon's quest for infrastructure began in 2008 when a fleet manager called the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and complained about gasoline prices and just happened to get transferred to the Office of Innovative Partnerships.

Oregon was selected by The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to have 8 DCFC stations installed in Southern Oregon. Oregon was also selected for "The EV Project", a DOE public/private project to install residential and public charging stations (both Level 2 and DCFC) initially in 5 states. ODOT is also running Oregon's portion of the West Coast Electric Highway project. This is funded by a US DOT Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (Tiger) II Grant. This grant funded 33 DCFC stations throughout Oregon, along key corridors such as Oregon’s coast, I-5, and the Columbia Gorge.

The ODOT was frugal with the Tiger funds and came in under budget. This allowed them to fund an additional 11 DCFC stations that are currently being planned for installation in the summer of 2013.

And there are other infrastructure projects. Portland State is running a research project called Electric Avenue. This project turned one block of SW Montgomery St in downtown Portland into an EV charging island. There are 8 charging stations there including 2 DCFC stations.

As you can see in the image below, the western part of the state is covered in EV charging infrastructure.

April 2013 EV Charging Infrastructure in Oregon via PlugShare
And if you do happen to find yourself with a depleted battery without an outlet in sight, AAA of Oregon now offers roadside charging service.

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Why EVs are great for Oregon :