PGE Opens Electric Car Recharging Point in Portland

The stations cost about $2,000 each, and companies that host stations pay for equipment, any underground utility extensions -- and the power bill for car users.

Published: 04-Aug-2008

What price is low enough to entice droves of Oregonians to fill up their cars with electricity generated by Northwest wind turbines rather than gasoline made from imported fossil fuels?

How about free -- from drive-up stations across the metro area? That's the strategy Portland General Electric launched Tuesday when it unveiled the first of a dozen plug-in vehicle-charging stations it will install through September.

The utility hopes the stations -- about the size of parking meters, with a sleek blue and silver design -- will encourage ownership of plug-in electric vehicles by offering visibility, convenience -- and a hard-to-beat price. The free test period will continue for an undetermined time.


Ray Lane, managing partner of venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins, Caufield and Byers, which has invested in Think, believes Think could eventually sell as many as 30,000 to 50,000 City cars a year.

The production electric vehicle to be introduced in 2010 will have a unique bodystyle and is not based on any existing Nissan model, unlike the technology 'mule' pictured above.

The 100-mile range electric car has been operating with Japanese power companies for the last two years.


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