In partnership with utility companies and, we imagine, with a little inspiration from Eddy Grant, the city of Portland has unveiled an “electric avenue” where EVs can plug in while parked.
Located on the campus of Portland State University, on Southwest Montgomery Street between Southwest Broadway and Southwest Sixth Avenue, the stretch of road features five 240-volt, Level 2 charging stations which can recharge most EVs from empty in four to six hours.
There’s also a single rapid charging station that can recharge compatible vehicles in under a half hour. We can only imagine the future episode of Portlandia featuring a couple Leaf drivers getting into a fist fight over who gets to plug in to the quick charger.
At yesterday’s opening ceremonies, vehicles that plugged in included a Nissan Leaf, Tesla Roadster, Chevy Volt, Ford Transit Connect, Smith Newton, Mitsubishi iMiEV, Toyota Prius Plug-In and Arcimoto’s new Darkwing.
“With more than 800 electric vehicles already on Oregon roads and more on the way, projects like Electric Avenue provide charging opportunities for EV drivers who live and work in urban areas while allowing us to study integrating electric transportation into our system,” said Jim Piro, CEO of Portland General Electric, one of the partners in the project. Specifically, they’re the partner that’s letting parkers plug in for free, though regular parking rates still apply.
With a name like “Electric Avenue,” we were hoping for solar pavement or in-road induction charging, not just six new charging stations. But it’s also the result of a research project into collaborative urban design, and a chance for six charger manufacturers — Eaton, ECOtality, General Electric, OpConnect, Shorepower Technologies, and SPX — to showcase their wares.