Which electric car charging station is the best? And just how are public charging stations getting used?

These are just two of the questions Portland State University and Portland General Electric Co. are hoping to answer with a two-year research project into electric car charging stations and their usage.  

Rather than concentrate on just one charging station, the research team will be collecting data from a whole block’s worth of charging stations made by a variety of charging station manufacturers.

As well as examining how the charging stations are used by local electric car owners, team will be able to study the different ways in which infrastructure providers tackle the problem of providing electric cars with charging power. 

Included in the study are charging stations made by Eaton, Shorepower Technologies, OpConnect, SPX, Ecotality, and General Electric.

While most charging stations will only offer a level 2 fast charge connectivity, Cleveland-based Eaton Corp. has installed a rapid DC charger as part of the project, enabling the research team to examine how rapid charging affects the way owners of compatible cars like the 2012 Nissan Leaf and 2012 Mitsubishi i use charging infrastructure. 

Portland CHAdeMO quick-charging station (publicly accessible)

Portland CHAdeMO quick-charging station (publicly accessible)

While the charging stations will be free for any electric car owner to use, those making use of the free power will have to pay any relevant parking charges incurred while recharging. 

Apart from providing solid academic research possibilities, the Electric Avenue (located along a one-block area of Southwest Montgomery between Broadway and Sixth) further secures Portland’s place as one of the 25 most electric-vehicle-ready cities in the U.S.  as well as probably being one of the most electric car-friendly cities in the world.

Combined with neighboring Washington and its I-5 Electric Highway and we think you’ll agree: the Pacific Northwest loves  electric cars. 

[Portland State University, Portland General Electric]


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