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Portland Ranks 5th Most Friendly for EV, But Koch Brothers Threat is Emerging

Saturday, February 20, 2016



The effort to promote and embrace electric vehicles (EV) in Portland got recognition from a major national group, but a new political threat from the Koch Brothers - Charles and David - is emerging that is trying to undermine government support of EVs. 

The report from Smart Grid names Portland as one of the best cities for owners of electric vehicles.  

The group unveiled the top ten cities in the US and says, “With almost every single automobile manufacturer now producing an electric option, more than 400,000 plug-in electric vehicles have been sold in the United States since 2008. As the electrical grid continues to mature, an increasing number of electric vehicle charging stations are popping up all over the country.”

1. Atlanta
2. New York City
3. Houston
4. Chicago
5. Portland
6. Los Angeles
7. Seattle
8. Phoenix
9. Baltimore

Photo under creative commons from DonkeyHotey

Big Challenge from Koch Brothers

The Huffington Port reported on Thursday that a group is being formed to kill government incentives for EVs and that group is funded in part by the conservative industrialists and political activist Koch Brothers, “A new group that's being cobbled together with fossil fuel backing hopes to spend about $10 million dollars per year to boost petroleum-based transportation fuels and attack government subsidies for electric vehicles, according to refining industry sources familiar with the plan. 

A Koch Industries board member and a veteran Washington energy lobbyist are working quietly to fund and launch the new advocacy outfit.”

More Efforts to Promote EV in Oregon

As GoLocal reported in September of 2014, “If we are in a position to request that our major and smaller employers step up to provide workplace charging," Ashley N. Horvat, Oregon’s chief Electric Vehicle (EV) said," the state must lead by example by making the transition to EVs as seamless as possible for state employees, removing barriers and proving opportunities for clean passenger vehicles where biking and public transportation are not an option.”

There are 500 charging stations and 1,000 outlets (some stations have more than one) across the state. Some companies charge employees, others provide the energy as an incentive. 

Jeff Allen, executive director of Drive Oregon attributes Oregon’s interest in the EV program to Portland’s progressive mindset on commuting and the many businesses that already offer bike lockers, showers and other accommodations for eco-friendly commuting. 

“We’re the No. 1 bike community in the country,” he said. “I know that part of the reason for that is that we have employers who say this is a good transportation choice that employees are making.

“Eventually businesses started to realize if you want to compete for good employees, this is what they’re looking for.” 

Eligible Projects

Residential alternative fuel infrastructure projects can qualify for tax incentives (credits), including electric vehicle charging stations and compressed natural gas fueling stations. 

Eligible tax credits: For alternative fuel vehicle fueling or charging infrastructure, the credit allowed is 25 percent of the eligible cost of the alternative fuel vehicle fueling or charging equipment, not to exceed $750.

What Smart Grid Says About Portland:

“Stopping to grab a bite to eat at one of the city’s 700 food trucks? Don’t miss the opportunity to charge up while you eat. Voted one of the Greenest major cities in the country, and the only one with a dormant volcano, Portland welcomes electric vehicles with open arms.”


Related Slideshow: Top 10 Most Energy Efficient Electric Utility Companies

Portland General Electric makes the list at number 7.

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National Grid 

Headquartered in London, UK, but serves the greater New England area 

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Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 

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Northeast Utilities 

Hartford, Connecticut 

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Portland, Oregon

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Berkshire Hathaway

Omaha, Nebraska

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Edison International

Rosemead, California

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Sempra Energy

San Diego, California 

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San Fransisco, California 

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Xcel Energy

Minneapolis, Minnesota 

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NV Energy

Las Vegas, Nevada


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