Recently we reported on Nissan and eTec's combined efforts to roll-out the largest EV project and charging station effort in U.S. history. Read more about it here.  Now, Portland General Electric has joined in the effort to put the charging infrastructure for EVs in place throughout Oregon as soon as possible.

PGE was selected as a strategic participant in the project and the state of Oregon has been named as one of the five markets used as a test bed for this project.

eTec choose PGE to gain understanding into EV usage patterns and how they impact the electrical grid throughout the day.  They also hope to conduct research into how EVs can interact with PGE's smart grid initiatives that kicked off recently.

Jim Piro, CEO of PGE said, "This announcement is an exciting and important step forward to develop the critical infrastructure necessary in Oregon to support next-generation electric vehicles that are coming to market in 2010.  This project will give us a better understanding of how charging of electric vehicles can effectively be integrated into a smart electric grid at the lowest possible cost."

In terms of electric companies, PGE is ahead of most of their competitors.  They've partnered with area governments and have installed almost 20 EV charging stations in the Portland and Salem areas.

As part of the agreement between the companies working on this project, up to 1,000 Nissan LEAFs could be available at Nissan dealerships in the state of Oregon by Fall 2010.  They expect to have 2,500 charging stations installed beginning in the summer of next year to support the vehicle.  The stations will be located at both homes and businesses and additional fast charge stations will be installed in highly congested areas throughout the state.

As the program begins, residents  who wish to join in on the program will be able to purchase a Nissan LEAF.  Consumers who purchase the LEAF in Oregon under the program will have charging equipment installed at their home or business at no cost.

Source:  Business Wire