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PGE and Pacific Power propose to expand local EV infrastructure

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Plans were submitted to the Public Utility Commission of Oregon in response to requirements contained in the Oregon Clean Energy and Coal Transition Act, which became law earlier this year.


Portland General Electric (PGE) and Pacific Power recently announced new initiatives to enhance local electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure support. The plans were submitted to the Public Utility Commission of Oregon in response to requirements contained in the Oregon Clean Energy and Coal Transition Act, which became law earlier this year.

"On behalf of our customers, energy companies such as PGE and Pacific Power have an essential role in advancing the use of electricity as a transportation fuel," said Carol Dillin, vice president, customer strategies & business development at PGE.

PGE is planning several pilot proposals to build more electric transportation infrastructure, educate customers, and test new technologies. First, PGE plans to provide Tri-Met with charging infrastructure for five battery-powered electric buses. PGE also plans to install six additional quick-charging blocks similar to downtown Portland's "Electric Avenue" located along SW Salmon Street at the World Trade Center.

Additionally, PGE proposes to conduct an outreach and education campaign on the benefits of electric transportation, and to continue research into related technologies such as fleet electrification, demand response, and vehicle-to-grid communications.

Pacific Power also submitted a plan to the PUC, detailing its electrification support plans.

"We may be reaching a tipping point with electric vehicles with the newest models having ranges over 200 miles," said Scott Bolton, vice president, external affairs and customer solutions at Pacific Power. "But to fully leverage the opportunity these vehicles offer, Oregon needs the right infrastructure."

 

Pacific Power offered four key proposals, including the addition of seven public charging stations around the metro area. The company will also revise its price schedules to incentivize more new fast charging stations, and provide financial support to customers exploring innovative community-based vehicle electrification ideas. Finally, Pacific Power plans to pursue its own outreach and education campaign.

 

"Portland General Electric and Pacific Power have produced extremely thoughtful plans based on many conversations with diverse stakeholders," said Jeff Allen, executive director of Drive Oregon. "Supporting more electric transit buses, promoting greater access to fast charging, and developing innovative demonstration projects, particularly in lower income communities, are all great steps to help advance transportation electrification, as required by Oregon's new law."

More than 20 different models of electric vehicles are now available for purchase or lease in Oregon, and several different models can be leased for about $200 a month. Most of the electric vehicles on the market will be on display at the Portland International Auto Show, January 29-31 at the Oregon Convention Center. The show includes Portland's first look at the all-new 2017 Chevrolet Bolt, which offers 238 miles of range on a full charge. Chevrolet will provide licensed drivers with complimentary driving opportunities in the Bolt at the show.