Oregon Plans to Boost the Adoption of Electric Cars

January 6, 2017

_13_fiat_500eIt is evident that following numerous years of increasing electric vehicle sales, the utilities of electric cars are gearing toward establishing useful infrastructure. Two weeks ago, a utility in California, PG&E gave the approval for installing more than seven thousand plug-in cars charging stations. Oregon has now followed suit and confirmed its plan to enhance electrified transportation. It will do so by not only setting up new charging sites, but also educating the public on the advantages of electric vehicles, as well as boosting the purchases of electric buses. These plans were jointly filed by the Pacific Power and Portland General Electric (PGE).

Six public, electric-vehicle charging locations will be built by PGE in downtown Portland at the “Electric Avenue” site. Each of the sites will have around four standard charging stations in addition to a Level 2 connector of 240-Volt. PGE will also set up and run charging sites that will be used for electric buses operated by TriMet in Portland. Consequently, capital will be freed to allow boosting of electric bus purchases by the transit agency. Pacific Power will also install charging sites and lower specific electric rates, which will make electricity cheaper for fast-charging site operators.

A plan for Coal Transition and Clean Electricity was passed by Oregon last spring. The plan eliminates the use of coal by PGE and Pacific Power by the year 2030. It also requires the generation of fifty percent of the electricity from sources that are renewable by the year 2040. Both utilities plan to establish pilot programs that will help in conveying information on the best practices for demand response, car to grid technology and fleet electrification. The program will also involve offering financial help to consumers interested in innovative community-based car electrification ideas.

Both utility plans will also be involved in consumer education and outreach efforts to raise awareness on the merits of electric vehicles. According to the Executive Director of Drive Oregon advocacy group, Jeff Allen, the exciting bit is the consumer engagement component of these plans. A majority of Oregon residents are not aware of the fact that there are more than twenty electric car models that can be bought today. They are also unaware of the fact that they can lease six of the models for approximately $200 per month. Oregonians need to be educated on the benefits that they can reap from electric cars, as well as the fact that driving such cars is a fun-filled experience. They are worth purchasing and driving.

 

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