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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Portland Scores 1000 Electric Cars

Posted by Matt Davis on Wed, Aug 5, 2009 at 2:26 PM

Oregon has been named a test market by the Electric Transportation Engineering Corporation, which today announced achieving $99.8million in federal funds to study electric vehicle usage.

The state could be getting up to 1000 Nissan Leaf cars, and up to 2,500 charging stations in 2010, according to a press release just put out by Mayor Sam Adams' office.

“This is exactly the kind of clean tech investments that Portland, and Oregon, have fought for,“ says Mayor Sam Adams, in the press release. “I have committed to making Portland a national leader in the EV industry, and with Nissan and eTec, we’re able to move our agenda forward.”

We've got a call in to get some more information on the project—yet to be returned.

Update, 3:51pm:

The mayor's spokesman, Roy Kaufmann, says the price of a Nissan Leaf includes the cost of having Arizona-based company ETEC install a plug-in station at the buyer's home, making it more practical for people to own and drive the cars.

Kaufmann didn't know the exact cost of the Nissan Leafs but said they would be priced "competitively."

"The big problem with electric cars has always been that it's hard to get parity with gas vehicles because there's this infrastructure to fill up," says Kaufmann. "The win in with this deal is that it brings not only the cars but the infrastructure, too."

"Hopefully after we've built out the charging stations in Portland and Seattle, we're going to start seeing the charging stations emerge on I-5," he continues. "That's the hope."

Portland will start seeing the charging stations being installed next summer, with the vehicles available for private purchase in late 2010. "I have a feeling it will be more of a long wait list than going to the dealership to pick one up, if the Prius is any indication," says Kaufmann.

San Francisco was not awarded one of the five target market designations, much to Kaufmann's delight. "Their application was for a battery swap model, not a battery charging model," he says.

Portland's high speed charging stations will only take a matter of hours to charge the cars, rather than overnight.

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