New growth plan for electric vehicle industry

Drive Oregon, the public-private group that promotes growth in the state’s electric vehicle industry, has reached agreement on a new strategic plan with the support of the governor’s office and Oregon Department of Transportation.

Among other ideas, the strategic plan calls for new financing mechanisms so large fleets can shift to electric vehicles (EVs); exploring ways to put charging stations in apartment complexes; instituting a $1,500 state tax credit for plug-in vehicles; and allowing EVs to use car-pool lanes.

The plan notes that 1,610 plug-in vehicles are registered in Oregon, 22 months after they were introduced here. Though modest, that’s more than the 1,247 registered Priuses in Oregon at the same point after they were introduced. There also are now 800 charging stations for EVs in the state.

To read the plan:

Check out solar projects at wineries

Solar Oregon leads a tour of wine country — and three solar-powered wineries — on Saturday, April 27. Naturally, wine-tasting and food is involved (lunch in this case). Solar Oregon is a nonprofit advocacy group that promotes solar energy in the state.

To buy a ticket or learn more:

Hike the gorge with friends

Friends of the Columbia Gorge is offering 60 educational hikes/outings from March 16 through July 18.

Hikes follow the wildflower blooms from the eastern end of the Gorge westward. Some involve bike rides. They are led by experts in botany, geology and Gorge


To learn more:

by: JONATHAN HOUSE - Dave Porter points out wildlife along the Tualatin River to his family during the Tualatin Riverkeepers annual Discovery Day last summer.

Support the Tualatin River

Tualatin Riverkeepers hosts its annual Green Heron Gala on Saturday, April 13, from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Tualatin Country Club.

The event features a dinner, silent and live auctions and presentation of Green Heron Awards. Proceeds help Tualatin Riverkeepers' efforts to protect and enhance the river. For more information:

Hydro company gets money from web

Portland's Lucid Energy, which produces renewable energy by harnassing the power of moving water inside pipes, is now harnassing the power of the Internet to raise funds.

Lucid is the first U.S. company selected as a beneficiary of OurCrowd, which uses the Internet to raise investment capital through "crowd funding."

Lucid has raised $650,000 so far from the Israeli investment vehicle and expects a total of $1 million to $1.5 million, says Lucid CEO Gregg Semler.

Lucid has brought its technology to Portland; Riverside, Calif.; San Antonio, Texas; and Haifa, Israel.

Zipcar introduces EVs in Portland

Zipcar introduced the first electric vehicles in its Portland car rental fleet, starting at Portland State University.

Zipcar is stationing Honda Fit electric vehicles at Parking Structure 1 on the downtown campus, not far from several EV charging stations.

Zipcar specializes in short-term car rentals. The Honda Fits will be available starting at $10.25 an hour, with free electricity supplied by the company.

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