Electric cars in Lake Oswego? You bet!

Lake Oswego Electric Car Charging StationI was pleasantly surprised yesterday morning to find an article on the front page of the Clackamas County edition of the Oregonian featuring a story about the new electric-car, plug-in charging station that is now in Lake Oswego.

Located on A Avenue, it is right in the heart of the downtown shopping and dining district. If you own an electric car, you can park at the curb and charge your car for FREE.

The station is one of 5 that PGE has installed in the State of Oregon. Their hope is to have 12 stations established in anticipation of car manufacturers rolling out new lines of hybrid/plug-in vehicles by 2010. For the details from PGE, click here to link to their website.

The new station in Lake Oswego was paid for by the City of Lake Oswego at a cost of about $5000. The September 23rd Oregonian quotes Lake Oswego Mayor Judie Hammerstad as saying “This is a big step forward in sustainability and reducing carbon emissions.” The article goes on to explain that the electricity that will be used will be paid for in a partnership with the City of Lake Oswego and local businesses. The hope is that while drivers will frequent the area to charge up their cars, they will also stay in the area to shop, dine, and support local businesses.

I know that I am totally excited about the changes that the high cost of gas are creating in the auto manufacturing industry. I intend to stay in my 4-year old, 80,000 mile car for another year or two in anticipation of the better choices for hybrids and plug-in hybrids that will be offered to consumers in the next few years. I think this is something that should have happened years ago, and I am glad that consumer demand is pressing the changes.

If you’d like a little background on electric cars, I highly recommend the 2006 documentary Who Killed the Electric Car? Produced by Papercut Films, it won many awards at film festivals throughout 2006 and 2007. It tells a fascinating tale about a successful electric car that was built years ago and then pulled from the market. It will also show you how doable the electric car is. Not only does it have no emissions, it has no maintenance along the lines of oil changes or filter changes, and it makes no sound.

It is my understanding that the average trip in an auto is under 50 miles. I think the ideal car would be a plug-in hybrid. It would operate on electricity for the first 50 miles, for daily driving, and then convert to a hybrid that is supported by gas, for trips that are longer than 50 miles. So in a couple of years when I pony up and by that plug-in hybrid, I now have a place to charge it for free when I do business in downtown Lake Oswego. How cool is that?

For the full text of the September 23rd Oregonian article click here.