Portland, Oregon (where EarthTechling is headquartered) is considered by many to be a model city of sustainability in the United States. The Rose City may later this week have another feather to add to its green cap if it approves at a city council meeting, as expected, recommendations from city staff for a comprehensive electric vehicle plan [PDF].
The recommendations being put forth, as reported by the Portland Business Journal, are far-encompassing. They would include streamlining approval of car charging station installations, providing limited use right of way for electric vehicle charging, adopting parking standards for vehicle charging areas, promoting state and federal tax incentives for electric vehicle adoption and developing an innovative electric vehicle charging program with carshare company Zipcar that would let garageless EV owners that are Zipcar members “use Zipcar’s reservation technology to secure time at a fast charger in one of several central locations, potentially in City-owned garages.” The assumption on this last item is that EV owners without garages wouldn’t necessarily have a place to install at home charging stations. It would also be supplemented with examination of using underutilized parking spaces throughout the city as places for charging areas overnight.
Also included in this plan is a motion to green the city’s fleet of government vehicles. As part of this portion of the electric vehicle exercise, Portland would partner with neighboring cities and counties to purchase at least 10 Nissan Leaf electric cars and charging stations. This would later build into a goal of at least 20 percent of the city’s fleet being electric by 2030.
Portland’s actions in the electric vehicle arena are part of a larger “Climate Action Plan” it adopted last year. Given the city’s strong biking and walking movements, the EV plan also includes a line item that would continue to promote these two options, along with mass transit and carpooling, as compatible alternatives to driving an electric car. It is the city’s hope to promote EVs as a nice alternative to gas guzzlers, but at the same time “ensure EVs do not further create congestion on our streets.”