Grounded Podcast: Excelsior! TriMet Rolls Electric


TriMet has been helping Oregonians on the move for 50 years – and they’re on the leading edge of sustainability in transportation. Public Information Officer Tia York told ODOE all about the agency’s latest electric bus pilot, mini wind turbines, and more.

Learn more about TriMet’s green transportation initiatives.


Photos courtesy of TriMet.

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Music: “If” by Broke for Free.

Governor Brown Signs Zero-Emissions Target Bill Into Law
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We were excited to hear that Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 1044 – Oregon’s zero-emission vehicle target bill – into law earlier this week. The bill marks another step forward for Oregon’s climate goals and for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector.

More than a third of Oregon’s greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation, with a majority coming from passenger cars and trucks. ZEVs – which include battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles – have no tailpipe emissions.

The new law establishes targets for ZEV adoption in Oregon, aiming for at least 50,000 registered ZEVs by the end of 2020 and 250,000 by 2025. By 2035, we hope to see ZEVs representing at least 90 percent of new vehicle sales. The Oregon Department of Energy is tasked with monitoring these ZEV adoption goals and, if the state is not on target, recommending strategies to the Legislature to bolster ZEV adoption.

The law also requires that all light-duty vehicles owned or leased by the State of Oregon be ZEVs by 2029, and it gives Oregon’s schools the option to use public purpose charge funds to buy electric buses and charging stations.

Ready to help support Oregon’s goals and make the switch? ZEVs offer an average annual savings of about $850 in fuel costs per year, reduced maintenance costs, and potentially lower up-front costs than comparable combustion-engine vehicles due to state, local, and federal tax incentives. Most electric vehicles built today can drive between 150 and 240 miles on a single charge and are supported by hundreds of fast-charging stations throughout the state.

Learn more about electric vehicles at Go Electric Oregon, including available incentives from your local utility, the Department of Environmental Quality’s Oregon Clean Vehicle Rebate Program, and more.

National Parks Get EV-Friendly Thanks to Donated Chargers

National parks just got easier for electric vehicle Drivers to visit, thanks to a partnership with the National Park Foundation, National Park Service, U.S. Department of Energy, and BMW of North America.

Nearly 100 EV charging stations have already been installed over the last two years in seven states, so it’s time to plan your EV road trip to visit some of America’s best natural sites, like Everglades National Park, the Grand Canyon, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Mount Rainier National Park, and others.

Be sure to start at Crater Lake, Oregon’s only national park. While Crater Lake didn’t receive a charger from this partnership, the park already offers EV charging!

Plan your national parks road trip with a handy smartphone app like Oregon-based Chargeway’s, so you never have to guess where your next charge will be.

Women of EVs Launches New Website

Women of Electric Vehicles is a Pacific Northwest based, women-led organization focusing on supporting women in the EV industry — from engineers to policymakers to EV bus drivers, and more!

WEV’s mission is to “elEVate” (excellent punning) women working in the EV industry by establishing a support community built for women, in an industry that tends to be male-dominated.

WEV just launched a new website, so check it out!

Forth's Roadmap 12 Next Week in Portland
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Nonprofit Forth will host Roadmap 12, a conference focused on electric and smart mobility in the U.S., on June 18-19 in Portland.

The conference includes expert speakers, exhibits, smart mobility tours, interactive sessions, and more.

Oregon Department of Energy’s Technology and Policy Manager, Jessica Reichers, is a panelist for a morning “Lightning Talks” session, covering a range of electric and smart transportation topics.

You can still register to attend the event through Forth’s website.

Lane Transit District Tests Electric Buses
Photo: LTD

Photo: LTD

Lane Transit District is now testing three electric buses in the Eugene area — with two more on the way!

LTD reports that the first two electric buses started running in February and April, traveling a total of 4,100 miles. All five buses should be integrated in to the fleet by this fall.

The first two test buses saved 949 gallons of diesel fuel, and greatly reduced harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

The Register-Guard recently highlighted LTD’s switch to e-buses. You can also read about them on LTD’s website.

Portland General Electric Launches Drive Change Fund

Portland General Electric has launched a Drive Change Fund, which supports projects that help electrify transportation in Oregon.

PGE will award a total of $1.75 million in grants in 2019 to Oregon nonprofits, businesses, and government entities with electric vehicle projects that provide a community benefit, like meeting the needs of underserved communities. Grant funding comes from the sale of Oregon Clean Fuels Program credits.

Applicants may be nonprofit, for-profit, or government entities — they don’t need to be PGE customers, but projects must benefit the public in areas that PGE serves. The competitively-awarded grants will range from $5,000 up to $575,000, and can cover 100 percent of eligible project costs. Applications for 2019 are due by August 30.

Learn more about the program and see full eligibility details on PGE’s website.

Eugene Electric Car Guest Drive June 22

Emerald People’s Utility District, the Eugene Water & Electric Board, and the City of Eugene are partnering to offer a fun electric vehicle Ride & Drive event on Saturday, June 22.

The Ride & Drive begins at 10 a.m. at Alton Baker Park in Eugene. Sign up to test drive multiple cars, including a Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model S, Chevrolet Volt, and others. Experts will be on hand to talk about the vehicles and charging — there will even be charging station demonstrations so you can see just how easy it is to charge up and go!

Electric Car Guest Drive
June 22, 2019
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Alton Baker Park
Eugene Science Center Parking Lot
2300 Leo Harris Parkway
Eugene, OR 97401

The State of Oregon has a goal to have 50,000 registered electric vehicles on our roads by the end of 2020. You can help us get there! Learn more about EVs, and find incentives that can save you thousands.

ZEVIWG Update: Driving Change in Oregon

The Zero Emission Vehicle Interagency Working Group is a coalition of state agencies dedicated to helping Oregon electrify our transportation system. On May 17, 2019 the group held a public meeting to share updates about Oregon’s progress on getting more people behind the wheel of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

In 2017, ZEVIWG members were tasked with implementing Governor Brown’s Executive Order No. 17-21, which creates a statewide goal to increase the number of zero emission vehicles in the state to 50,000 by the end of 2020. The interagency group is made up of the Oregon Department of Energy, Department of Administrative Services, Public Utility Commission, Department of Environmental Quality, and Oregon Department of Transportation. Their mission: implement the directives from the Executive Order by tackling cost, infrastructure, and information gaps to help accelerate the transition to electric vehicles across the state.

For the May public meeting, state agencies gave updates on recent milestones:

  • ODOE staff discussed our work to develop EV leadership awards for the Governor, to be presented later this year.

  • DEQ highlighted the progress on the EV rebate programs. Staff have approved more than 1300 rebate applications and remitted $3.3 million in rebates!

  • The PUC highlighted work on the transportation electrification programs happening at Portland General Electric and PacifiCorp. These utilities will install more charging infrastructure in their service territories throughout 2019.

  • ODOT highlighted its work coordinating with other state agencies and the state of Washington in proposing EV charging investments for Electrify America, which led to charging infrastructure development in Oregon along I-84, I-5, major highways to the coast and Bend, as well as charging in the Portland metropolitan area.

  • DAS provided an update on its work to budget for higher EV adoption in the state fleets. By 2025, at least 25 percent of eligible vehicles the state procures will be EVs.

Through the remainder of this year and 2020, the ZEVIWG will focus on:

  • ODOE and ODOT collaborating on two budgeting tools that will help transit agencies and school bus owners compare the costs of buying, operating, and maintaining differently fueled buses, including electric buses. These tools will help transit agencies and school districts in Oregon as they make decisions about which buses are the right fit for their activities.

  • The PUC will continue to work with PGE and PacifiCorp as they develop additional transportation electrification plans and utilize revenues from their Clean Fuels Program credits to support EV adoption for their ratepayers.

  • DEQ will hire a contractor to help issue the Charge Ahead EV rebates for low- and moderate-income Oregonians.

This was the first public meeting for the ZEVIWG, and the group will continue to look for ways Oregonians can offer feedback on how the state can identify and address barriers to equitable and widespread adoption of electric vehicles in Oregon. Have a suggestion? Let us know!

The ZEVIWG will host another public meeting later this year. You can sign up to receive updates on meetings and other activities on ODOE’s ZEVIWG Get Involved webpage.

A version of this story was first published on ODOE’s blog.

Hillsboro Electric Avenue Grand Opening May 18
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Portland General Electric and the City of Hillsboro will celebrate the grand opening of Hillsboro’s Electric Avenue on Saturday, May 18.

In an effort to support the transition to electric vehicles in Oregon, Portland General Electric is expanding its Electric Avenues – clusters of EV charging stations in local communities. PGE has five Electric Avenue locations currently operating or under construction. The Hillsboro location joins operating avenues in Milwaukie and downtown Portland, and each offers four DC fast chargers and two Level 2 chargers.

Grab a snack and enjoy a ribbon-cutting at 10 a.m., and stick around for a Ride & Drive with nonprofit Forth.

Hillsboro Electric Avenue Grand Opening
May 18, 2019  |  10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
2105 SE Tualatin Valley Highway (Sunset Esplanade)

Electric Vehicle Ride & Drive in Independence May 11

Join the City of Independence, nonprofit Forth, Pacific Power, and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality for a fun electric vehicle Ride & Drive on Saturday, May 11.

The Ride & Drive is at Independence’s “Touch-a-Truck” event in Riverview Park from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Grab a donut and learn more about EV options. Cars available for test drives include a Chevy Bolt, Nissan LEAF, and BMW i3 Rex. While you’re there, check out the many trucks on display, and see a hybrid electric bucket truck!

Test drives are first-come, first serve for drivers 21 and older — be sure to bring your valid driver’s license!

Independence Ride & Drive
May 11, 2019 | 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Riverview Park, 60 C St in Independence

$3,500 off a 2019 Nissan LEAF is Back!
CREDIT REQUIRED - Leaf by Karlis Dambrans on Flickr CC.jpg


Nissan is partnering with the utilities to offer customers an extra $3,500 off the purchase price of a 2019 Nissan LEAF or $2,500 off a 2019 Nissan LEAF Plus — now through July 1!

Find details on our Incentives & Rebates page.

Photo by Kārlis Dambrāns, Creative Commons on Flickr.

Interagency EV Group to Hold Public Meeting May 17
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The Zero Emission Vehicle Interagency Working Group (ZEVIWG) invites the public to join its meeting on May 17 to share progress towards the Governor’s Executive Order 17-21, which focuses on tackling cost, infrastructure, and information gaps in order to help accelerate the transition to electric vehicles. 

At the meeting, the ZEVIWG will:

  • Share information and hear feedback on its progress toward the Directives in the Governor’s Executive Order No. 17-21.

  • Hear about your work on EV adoption and awareness in your communities and organizations, especially where your work aligns with the activities of the ZEVIWG.

  • Work with you to identify and consider ways to address barriers to equitable, widespread adoption of electric vehicles in Oregon.

If you are unable to attend the meeting in person, please feel free to submit comments, questions, and your community or organization's EV-related milestones by email to We look forward to your participation and input.

ZEVIWG Public Meeting
Friday, May 17, 2019  |  10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Portland State Office Building
Conference Room 1A
800 NE Oregon Street
Portland, OR 97232
Meeting Announcement  |  Agenda

If you need special accommodations to participate in the meeting, please contact Linda Ross at 503-378-6874 or at at least 48 hours prior to the meeting.


About the ZEVIWG 

The Governor's EO 17-21 also established the ZEVIWG, an interagency group including the Oregon Department of Energy, Department of Administrative Services, Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Transportation, and Public Utility Commission, tasked with implementing the EO and meeting the Governor’s 50K by 2020 goal.

Learn more about the ZEVIWG


Pacific Power Offers Grants for EV Charging Infrastructure
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Funding awards will cover up to 100 percent of the eligible costs to purchase and install charging stations. Eligible projects can include businesses installing chargers for employees and customers, multi-family housing, community car sharing programs, and others.

Projects will be selected quarterly through a competitive evaluation process, so act fast! Cycle 3 starts now, and applications are due May 15.

More information, including eligibility requirements and application materials, is available on Pacific Power’s website. Pacific Power will also host a webinar for grant seekers on April 30 at 11 a.m. Email Pacific Power to sign up!

TriMet Unveils First All-Electric Bus in Portland

TriMet’s first all-electric public bus will officially enter full-time service this week!

It’s a New Flyer Xcelsior CHARGE bus (coolest name ever), and has been driving in test runs for the past few weeks. The electric bus will run on TriMet’s Line 62, between the Sunset Transit Center in Beaverton and Washington Square Mall.

TriMet has purchased a total of five electric Xcelsior CHARGE buses, with help from a federal grant and support from Portland General Electric. Even better — the buses will be charged using electricity produced from renewable wind power.

This exciting milestone is part of TriMet’s goal to convert its entire diesel-powered fleet to electric, zero emission vehicles by 2040. Read more in The Oregonian.

Cadillac and Chevrolet Reach 200,000 Sales — Tax Credit Values Reduced

Cadillac and Chevrolet have joined automaker Tesla in reaching 200,000 electric vehicle sales in the United States — their EV models will now qualify for federal tax credits of up to $3,750.

The federal government’s Zero Emission Vehicle Incentive Program means each automaker’s eligible plug-in vehicles can receive a tax credit of up to $7,500 (based on vehicle battery size) until 200,000 eligible vehicles per manufacturer are registered in the U.S. After this point, the credit for that particular manufacturer will be reduced and phased out over time.

As of April 2019, Tesla, Cadillac, and Chevrolet have reached 200,000 sales, so models now have a reduced tax credit value of $3,750. Tesla buyers have until the end of June 2019 to receive the credit before it is further reduced; Cadillac and Chevrolet buyers have until the end of September 2019. After that, buyers can receive a tax credit up to $1,875.

Remember, EV incentives can be stacked — the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is offering rebates of up to $5,000 for EV buyers in Oregon. Some local utilities are also offering rebates for their customers. Check out Oregon’s current incentives.

Forth Electric Vehicle Ride & Drive Event March 20 at Oregon's Capitol
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Oregon-based nonprofit Forth will be hosting an electric vehicle ride and drive event on Wednesday, March 20 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the front steps of Oregon’s Capitol.

Say “hello!” to the Oregon pioneer before taking a seat in a Chevy Bolt, BMW i3, Nissan LEAF, Toyota Prius Prime, BMW 530e PHEV, or Subaru Cross Trek PHEV!

Test drives are free and open to everyone 21 and older with a valid driver’s license. Test drives are first come, first serve. Since Forth is a nonprofit, there’s no pressure to buy. It’s the perfect way to check out an electric vehicle.

State, federal, and local incentives could help you save $10,000 or more off the purchase of an EV. Learn more.

Chargeway Founder Joins Oregon Department of Energy Podcast

The Oregon Department of Energy’s latest Grounded podcast guest is Matt Teske, founder and CEO of Chargeway, an Oregon-based company focused on making it easy to charge your electric vehicle.

Chargeway’s innovative platform takes the guesswork out of how and where you charge your EV, using color-coded plug types and simple numbers for charging speed. The higher the number, the faster the charge.

Learn more about Chargeway and download the free app:

Oregon has a goal to have 50,000 registered electric vehicles on our roads by the end of 2020. You can help us get there! Find info about cars, charging, and available incentives and rebates. Combined incentives can save Oregon drivers over $10,000.

More Electrify America Chargers Coming to Pacific Northwest

On February 8, Electrify America announced funding for new electric vehicle charging infrastructure along some of Oregon’s busiest destination corridors.

As part of its settlement over illegal vehicle diesel emissions, Volkswagen established Electrify America, a company focused on investing nearly $2 billion in electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the country. Funds will be distributed in four cycles over a 10-year period.

Oregon and Washington submitted a joint proposal for the Cycle 1 investments in 2017, which brought four DC Fast Chargers to locations along I-84 and I-5 in Oregon, as well as additional Level 2 charging in the Portland metropolitan area.

In early 2018, Oregon and Washington – along with several Oregon cities – developed a proposal for Cycle 2 investments that would further expand the Pacific Northwest’s charging network. Electrify America announced its funded Cycle 2 projects earlier this month, which include additional EV chargers along roadways to Central Oregon and out to the coast, providing drivers with more access to cities like Bend, Seaside, and Astoria.

It may be time to start planning your next EV road trip! Learn more about charging your electric vehicle at home or on the road.

Map courtesy of Electrify America.
Thumbnail photo courtesy of PlugShare, showing Electrify America charger in Huntington, Oregon.

Green 2, Blue 4, Red 6: Chargeway App Simplifies Electric Vehicle Charging

New models, improved battery life, and Oregon’s expanding network of electric vehicle chargers is making it easier than ever to go electric – and make sure you’re still road trip-ready.

Oregon-based Chargeway is making it even easier.

Rather than trying to decipher if your car needs a CHAdeMO, Combo charger, or something else, Chargeway has developed a simple color- and number-coded system to get you on the road faster.

Download Chargeway’s free app, enter your exact vehicle, and the tool will tell you which chargers work for your car: blue, green, and/or red. Corresponding numbers, 1-7, show you how fast you can charge… the higher the number, the faster the charge.

In addition to showing where compatible chargers are located near you, you can plot out a specific road trip and Chargeway will show you the best route to reach your destination, and where and how often you’ll need to stop to charge. Not to mention: they’ll point out nearby amenities so you can grab a snack or get a good night’s sleep while you plug in. The app will also tell you what company owns the charger, and whether you’ll need a membership or can pay by credit card.

Next up for the company? Building relationships with utilities and car dealerships to install Chargeway “beacons” in the dealers. The large, stand-up beacons offer bigger, interactive versions of the app so customers and sales people can walk through how the new car they’re considering will work for them.

2019 is shaping up to be a great year for electric vehicles. Learn about the incentives that can save you thousands.