When talking about electric cars and early adopters, the state of Oregon often seems like the Little Engine That Could.

It's the only state to have appointed an Electric Car Czar as a state employee, it started work on the West Coast Electric Highway fully five years ago (California is just now funding its share of those charging sites), and it wants electric-car makers to test new vehicles and programs in the state.

Now it has a new distinction to add to its laurels.

DON'T MISS: Oregon's Pitch To Electric-Car Industry: Come Test New Stuff Here!

An alert reader who works for an electric utility pointed out that Germany now has roughly 320 100 DC quick-charging stations for battery-electric and (a few) plug-in hybrid vehicles.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: As of January 2016, Germany actually had 320 DC fast-charging sites--as at least two readers pointed out in our Comments. The original number was based on severely outdated information; we didn't catch the error before publication. It also negates the original premise of the article, so we've altered it in several places to reflect the corrected data. Our apologies.]

Those stations are available to a population of 80 million people, driving 44.4 million vehicles.

Electric Avenue charging stations in Portland, Oregon [photo: Portland General Electric]

Electric Avenue charging stations in Portland, Oregon [photo: Portland General Electric]

According to the U.S. Census and the Oregon Department of Transportation, the northwestern state has about 4 million people, and 3.4 million passenger vehicles on its roads.

But Oregon drivers have no fewer than 132 fast-charging stations available for their use.

ALSO SEE: Electric-Car Incentive Considered In Oregon: $3,000 "Cash On The Hood" (April 2015)

That statistic comes from the U.S. Department of Energy, which maintains a continually updated map of electric-car charging sites. (Similar information, with slight differences, can also be found using the Plugshare and ChargePoint apps.)

In other words, a state with one-twentieth the population and one-tenth the number of vehicles has more than eight times as many fast-charging sites per person as Germany--or more than five times as many per vehicle.

West Coast Electric Highway Map - 2015

West Coast Electric Highway Map - 2015

In addition, it's worth noting that many of Oregon's quick chargers are dual-standard.

That means they have two cables, one each for the CHAdeMO protocol used by Nissan Leafs, and the other for the Combined Charging Standard, or CCS (also known as "SAE Combo") that's used by every German and U.S. carmaker (except for Tesla Motors).

MORE: Oregon Debates EV Charging Stations: Cost Or Benefit For Utility Customers?

Germany too is installing dual-standard sites, despite its local makers using solely CCS--which enables them to be used by drivers of the Nissan Leaf, which remains the world's highest-selling electric car.

Nevertheless, in this respect, Oregon stands as a pioneer in electric transport--and a demonstration of what its very large, very influential neighbor to the south should have been doing for the past five years.

Electric Avenue charging stations in Portland, Oregon [photo: Portland General Electric]

Electric Avenue charging stations in Portland, Oregon [photo: Portland General Electric]

Ah, well: Places like California, and Germany, will probably catch up.


[EDITOR'S NOTE: In the spirit of full disclosure, Green Car Reports editor John Voelcker is one of several members of the Drive Oregon council of advisers.]

[hat tip: Stan Sittser]


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