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Portland General Electric Developing Network of Charging Stations for Plug-ins

Portland (Oregon) General Electric (PGE) is developing a network of charging stations for plug-in hybrid electric and all-electric vehicles. The move responds to customers’ concerns about climate change and volatile gas prices, and anticipates the plan of car manufacturers to roll out the new generation of plug-in hybrids by 2010.

The PGE charging stations. Click to enlarge.

The stations each offer two NEMA 5-20R and two 14-50R receptacles. Offered current is 20 and 30 amps, and voltage is 120V and 240V.

PGE is working with local businesses and governments to install about a dozen stations throughout the region to help develop and test the transportation infrastructure needed to support plug-in vehicles.

PGE says that it hopes the move will help accelerate the adoption of plug-in hybrid vehicles, while providing current owners with more convenient plug-in options around town. In addition, PGE’s investment in smart meter technology may allow plug-in vehicles to connect to the electrical grid to provide power during peak load times.

The first charging station was installed 29 July outside PGE’s headquarters in Portland, replacing an outdated station installed in 1996 for all-electric vehicles. During this test phase, there is no charge to use the stations. All will be powered by 100% PGE renewable energy.

Additional stations will be installed in the coming months at sites throughout the Portland metro area, including select Burgerville locations, Columbia Sportswear, Marriott Hotel, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, City of Milwaukie and TriMet. Several other businesses and municipalities have expressed interest in installing stations as well.



Very good move. Portland is a world leading municipality and their early adoption of Charge Station technology will set at path for other cities. PGE should also look at smart parking meters with lock & retractable cord/outlet. Park at a smart meter, pay for parking plus two hours charging - revenue for city and incentive to PHEV owners.

Jeff Baker

Solar Panels on Vehicle Roofs

Forget about using the solar panel to run the car. That’s not its highest use. Solar equipped vehicles of the future will be peak load generators. V2G should be installed first in employer parking lots, where vehicles will be parked at work for 8-9 hours a day, 5 days a week. Solar panels integrated into vehicle roofs will feed peak load power into the grid as a credit on the owners electric bill. Peak load credit should be at a much higher rate than nighttime debit, when vehicles will typically be charged. Charge the vehicle during peak load only when you must.

At 16% efficiency, the Prius solar roof panel will generate 215 watts, and it will cost approximately $1,000. The cost will gradually come down, and the efficiency will gradually go up. Vehicle windows may also be covered with a solar voltaic film which will act as tinting. Add another 100 watts. Next technology, the entire body of the vehicle will be covered with solar voltaic paint. This is now being developed. Add 360 watts, and the total is 675 watts. Increase the efficiency of the solar collectors by 1.5 and the total is 1,000 watts of peak load power. That would have a payback of 2-3 years and be financed into the vehicle. Solar panels integrated into vehicles will be mass produced and then become a standard feature. A trailer truck rig, including the cab roof and the trailer roof, using current technology 19% efficient solar panels will generate 6,964 watts. Buses, UPS trucks, trains, boats, all have potential. As a whole, with millions of vehicles equipped with solar panels and a V2G system in place, this could have a big impact.

Thus, the highest purpose of a V2G charging system is to collect peak load power to the grid, not charging vehicles during peak load power. Optimally the vehicle would be charged at night, when the rates are low, and only charge during the day when absolutely necessary. In the near future, we will be driving electric generators, and we will be managing energy in order to build credits into our electric accounts.

Auto Window Tint

The best thing about auto tint is it inexpensive to have installed

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