Oregon is already fairly well enlightened in regard to electric vehicle adoption, and infrastructure for electric vehicles. For example, there is the West Coast Electric Highway, a project which has placed EV charging stations along the I-5 corridor through both Oregon and Washington State (it was originally slated to extend down into California, but somehow that didn’t happen). Now, Oregon wants to expand the EV charging network even further by allowing state agencies to install electric car charging stations at state-owned facilities.
The law, SB536A, is unspecific on where these charging stations will be located. What it does say is that each state agency is allowed to install charging stations at up to 5 locations every 2 years (or 10 locations for the Oregon Department of Administrative Services). If an agency wants to add additional charging stations it must fund them with a grant from somewhere. The charging stations are to be publicly accessible, and a fee will be charged for charging station use such that the state is not subsidizing the electricity.
In other words, Oregon, if the bill passes, will be acting to add a bit of electric car charging infrastructure using state-owned land to do so. But the effort is limited in scope and cost, presumably so that the state doesn’t become a competitor to commercially operated EV charging stations. Additionally, these charging stations could see use more for state-owned electric fleet vehicles.
“Increasing the supply of EV charging stations will benefit Oregon’s economy by putting the state at the forefront of innovations for electric vehicles,” said Senator Jackie Dingfelder (D-Portland), chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. “Easy access to charging stations will promote use of electric vehicles, which leads to less air pollution, less reliance on foreign oil, and advancement towards our environmental goals.”
The measure passed in the State Senate this week and has headed to the State House next.
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