State of Oregon plugs into electric-vehicle plan
As part of a plan to encourage the use of zero-emission vehicles among government users and the public, the state of Oregon has entered into a supply agreement with Nissan that will bring a number of Nissan electric vehicles to the state government’s fleet in 2010.
Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski made the announcement after meeting with Nissan executives overseas as part of the state’s business mission to Japan and China.
“This announcement shows that a state can create economic opportunity from its commitment to a greener future and the fight against global warming,” Kulongoski said. “Oregon welcomes Nissan and is pleased to help lead the way in the transition to new, greener vehicle technologies. Soon Oregonians will be able to plug in instead of fuel up at the pump.”
Details, such as numbers of cars to be provided to the Oregon state fleet and their costs, are being negotiated and finalized.
Encouraging the use of electric vehicles is part of Kulongoski’s climate-change and transportation agendas for the 2009 legislative session. He has proposed shifting the state’s tax credit from hybrids to plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles.
“Our reliance on foreign oil and our emissions of greenhouse gases come from dependence on gasoline-powered vehicles,” Kulongoski said. “Government can help consumers transition by working with the private sector to create the necessary infrastructure and demand for new, cleaner vehicles. By partnering with Nissan and Portland General Electric, we can work together to build a consistent and reliable infrastructure so consumers can make the switch seamlessly to electric vehicles.”
All-electric cars and trucks being developed by Nissan are expected to provide a range between charges of at least 100 miles. Nissan officials haven’t chosen a name for the electric car, which is expected to come in more streamlined models than the squarish prototype vehicle Kulongoski test-drove.
Network of alternative-fuel stations planned
The governor also has been working with private-sector firms to build a network of alternative-fuel stations by October 2010.
Nissan has committed to work with the state of Oregon and Portland General Electric toward the development of an electric-vehicle charging network to promote the use of zero-emission vehicles. The company is developing a model charging stations infrastructure through its plug-in vehicle initiative.
Portland General Electric already has installed six electric-vehicle charging stations in the Portland area and Salem, with plans for six more for a total of 12.
Oregon governments own nearly 72,000 vehicles
Oregon has a good number of government-owned vehicles, according to the Federal Highway Administration’s latest “Highway Statistics” report in its Publicly-Owned Vehicles table. Governments in Oregon own nearly 72,000 cars, trucks and buses, with federal agencies owning about 11,000 (15.5 percent) and state, county and municipal fleets owning almost 61,000 (84.5 percent).
In Oregon, there are about 12,000 state-owned vehicles in operation. The state’s Administrative Services Department operates about one-third of those vehicles.
At least one Oregon community, the city of Portland, has been placing hybrids in its municipal fleet, which has a total of 2,850 vehicles. The Portland fleet operates a total of 60 hybrids, according to Web reports.