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Monday, May 27, 2013

Why EVs Are Perfect for Oregon - Reason 9: Eco Ethos


Oregon is known for its green trees and green mindset. There is an overwhelming green ethos among many residents of our Ecotopia. Having lived here all of my life, I don't really notice it until I leave the state. Here, in Oregon, next to nearly every trash can, there is a recycle container. Curbside pickup of recycling and yard debris are common.


Oregon has a long list of eco-friendly awards and accomplishments. Oregon was the first state to have a bottle bill. All of Oregon's beaches are public and there are multiple beach clean-up drives each year. Farmers markets are common here, allowing for local food production and consumption. Portland and Eugene have earned multiple bicycle-friendly city awards, including being awarded platinum status by the League of American Bicyclists. In 1993, Portland became the first US city to adopt a global warming action plan. Hillsboro Oregon is a finalist in the national Mayors' Challenge for sustainable solutions for cities. In 1987, Portland adopted its first recycling system. Twenty five years later, Portlanders recycle 63% of their waste, one of the highest rates in the US. Entrepreneur Magazine ranked Eugene #1 for "Top Towns for Green Scenes: Where Capitalism meets eco-consciousness". With all of this and more, Oregon is often ranked number 1 or 2 in lists of the greenest states.

Portland ranked #1 and Eugene #5 on Mother Nature Network 2012 Top Ten Green U.S. Cities.
Given this green backdrop, it is not surprising that new eco-friendly technologies are often adopted here. Portland has ranked #1 per capita in hybrid ownership since 2005 and has ranked #1 in voluntary renewable power purchasers in the country since 2009. It is easy to imagine a Portlandia skit where a salesman mentions that a product is environmentally friendly and it is sold before he can even mention any of the other features.

Oregon also has the "Silicon Forest". This skilled labor force works at Intel, Tektronix, Maxim and others. This also includes North America's largest solar panel manufacturing plant for Solar World. Oregon’s high tech workforce quickly became a clean tech workforce when coupled with green public policies and incentives.

There is a general sense of optimism here that we can help make the world a better place. 

In 2012 Oregon ranked number one in the nation in charging stations per capita in the Clean Energy Leadership Index. At that time Oregon had more than twice as many EV charging stations per capita than Michigan or California. The report asserts that Oregon’s high ranking was “largely due to unwavering consumer-driven demand for clean-tech products and services”.


See all 9 Reasons EVs Are Great In Oregon.