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Oregon Suburb Adding Electric Charging Station

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I guess we were premature in saying there aren’t any electric plug-in stations planned in the U.S. Today, we learn that the affluent Portland, Ore., suburb of Lake Oswego is adding an electric recharging station to its downtown.

Local leaders think this $7,500 station will draw people to its downtown. The city is working with Portland General Electric, which hopes this will be the first in a network of similar stations.

There are currently only 270 electric vehicles registered in the state of Oregon but with mainstream vehicles like the Chevy Volt — and possible plug-in and electric vehicles from Toyota, Ford and Chrysler — these stations may become more common. There’s no mention of whether the charging will be free, but the electricity itself is coming from renewable sources, although what type — solar, wind, etc. — isn’t mentioned.

The drawback, of course, is that charging an electric vehicle takes time. GM says it will take the Volt four hours to recharge on a high-voltage outlet. Perhaps if these stations were near local businesses commuters could recharge during the workday. 

However, the main reasoning behind these vehicles is that people will recharge at home during off-peak hours, at night, when the electric grid isn’t fully taxed.

Electric moment (Lake Oswego Review)

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Former managing editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David Thomas

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