OREV Steps Up with Proposal to Make Oregon a Leader in Electric Vehicles

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                June 10, 2010

OREV Steps Up with Proposal to Make Oregon a Leader in Electric Vehicles

Group gains momentum along with Oregon’s EV market, technology, and policy strength

PORTLAND, Oregon – The Oregon Roundtable for the Electric Vehicle Industry (OREV) submitted a proposal last week with a $2.45 million plan to establish Oregon as a world leader in the design, manufacture, and integration of ultra-efficient vehicles and related infrastructure and technologies.  The proposal was submitted to the Oregon Innovation Council in response to a request for Key Industry Innovation Initiatives.

The proposed initiative will build OREV’s ability to achieve key goals for Oregon:

  • Leverage federal and private funding to enable Oregon’s continued leadership in Electric Vehicles (EVs).
  • Connect Oregon University System institutions, utilities, state and local government entities and EV industry stakeholders to efficiently develop and commercialize next-generation transportation technologies.
  • Foster collaboration between Oregon’s existing clean tech, manufacturing, smart grid, software and other sectors to participate in the EV supply chain.
  • Create skilled, family-wage jobs to build the next generation of transportation solutions.

“The EV industry – with electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, components, and infrastructure – represents a huge opportunity for Oregon,” said John Thornton, lead author of the group’s proposal.  “But we will only capture these jobs, and the energy security and environmental benefits, if we act now and turn our early EV readiness into a long-term strength.”

A key strategy is to win a leading share of large federal programs, aimed at EV deployment and EV-related manufacturing, by rallying the state’s strong existing capabilities in a coordinated and focused effort.

Oregon’s strength in EVs goes back many years, combining the state’s high-technology industry and a history of environmental leadership.  The Oregon Electric Vehicle Association (OEVA) has long been the gathering place EV enthusiasts, along with providing education and outreach and an annual EV Awareness Day.  More recently, the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC) was formed in 2005, directing research expertise at multiple Oregon universities to look at transportation improvements, increasingly including EVs.

But the state lacked a means of gathering the many industry players who were working on vehicle electrification.  In early 2009, the Portland Development Commission (PDC) identified this emerging cluster, and worked with Business Oregon to convene and support the group – which later became OREV.  The group now includes over 40 companies and organizations working across the electric vehicle arena.  More information is available at www.OR-EV.org.

The interest in EVs continues to build, with activities nearly every week.  Portland General Electric (PGE) recently took EVs to the streets, featuring a range of vehicles in the Starlight Parade.  And on Friday, June 11, PGE, Portland State University, and OTREC will host ‘E.V. Road Map 2,’ featuring presentations by national experts, and providing an update on continuing EV initiatives in Oregon.

As a likely early-adopter market for EVs, Oregon has garnered international attention through the state’s high hybrid electric vehicle concentration.  This helped earn the state a position as one of just five test markets for the largest rollout of electric vehicles and an associated charging station network in U.S. history.  The initiative will bring nearly 1,000 Nissan electric vehicles to Oregon in 2010, along with nearly 2,000 charging stations.

The public sector is a key factor favoring the success of Oregon’s EV players.  Companies including Cascade Sierra Solutions, Shorepower Technologies, Entek, EnerG2, and Revolt Technology have already won significant federal support for their job-creating work in EVs.

At the state level, recent modifications to Oregon’s Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) include a credit for EV manufacturing.

Key upcoming leverage opportunities include a bill co-sponsored by the state’s own Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR).  The “Electric Vehicle Deployment Act of 2010” proposes an $11 billion package to create 5 to 8 “deployment communities” to jump-start the electric vehicle industry in the U.S.  With a concerted effort and support from the Oregon Innovation Council, OREV aims to make Oregon one of the winning deployment communities. 

In its proposal, OREV also plans to help members target the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Incentive Program (ATVMIP), which includes $20 billion of DOE funding. 

“We have done a fantastic job in green buildings, and now we need to focus on transforming our transportation system,” said Thornton.  “It’s another local example of innovation and high density deployment leading to a strong sector, job creation, and exportable products.”

Contacts from the OREV Steering Committee:

Tim Miller
President and CEO
Green Lite Motors Corporation
Cell: 503-490-3014
Email: TimMiller@GreenLiteMotors.com

 

Trevor Steele                                                          
Director of Government Relations                
Arcimoto LLC                                                          
Cell: 541-954-0065                                              
Email: trevor@arcimoto.com                         

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