March 17, 2015

Oregon Boosts EV Adoption Through Popular Electric Vehicle Events

These events are successful because they stimulate real and meaningful exchanges by EV industry representatives, public entities, and interested parties on the advancement of EV technology.  

Rick Wallace, Columbia-Willamette Clean Cities Coordinator in Tualatin, Oregon

Oregon is home to one of the largest and most robust networks of electric vehicle (EV) fast charging stations in the United States, making it the ideal location for events centered on EV deployment.

The EV Roadmap Conference held its seventh annual event in July, attracting a high-energy mix of industry, government, and utility representatives. These EV champions came together to develop strategies to bring down barriers to EV adoption, explore emerging trends, and share newly established best practices.

The Columbia-Willamette Clean Cities Coalition (CWCCC) plays an active role in sponsoring the conference through its membership in the Energize Oregon Coalition, a volunteer organization guided by the Oregon Department of Transportation and Drive Oregon. At this year's EV Roadmap, CWCCC sponsored a panel session on the role of energy agencies and Clean Cities coalitions in converting fleets to electric vehicles. CWCCC Co-Coordinator Rick Wallace served as a panelist. The coalition also provided information on incentives and connected fleet managers with mentors who have already converted part of their fleets to EVs.

"CWCCC brings together the key stakeholders in the region and continues to be a great resource for information about alternative fuel vehicles," Executive Director of Drive Oregon Jeff Allen said. "When the EV Roadmap Conference gets fleet managers excited about electric vehicles, CWCCC is there to help them follow through with concrete steps that make sense for their business."

During its seven-year history, EV Roadmap has established itself as the Pacific Northwest's premier EV event, bringing together Oregon's early EV adopters with national and international experts to inform transportation electrification efforts across the country. With this focus on developing solutions to reducing or eliminating barriers to EV adoption, it has also become one of the leading EV conferences at the national level. As an example, at this year's conference, Drive Oregon recognized 15 Oregon employers for participating in the Energy Department's Workplace Charging Challenge.

A second event, the Pacific Coast Collaborative Regional Workshop on Zero Emission Vehicles in Fleets, was initiated as a first response to last year's signing of the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy by Oregon, Washington, California, and British Columbia. The plan established a goal to "expand the use of zero-emission vehicles, aiming for 10% of new vehicle purchases in public and private fleets by 2016." Held concurrently with EV Roadmap with assistance from CWCCC, the workshop hosts private and public sector stakeholders to share success stories and discuss barriers that fleets face in adopting in zero emission vehicles (ZEVs). The Pacific Coast Collaborative is also developing an online toolkit for public and private fleet managers to assess opportunities for ZEVs and learn about useful incentives and procurement resources.

The synergy of the two events emphasizes to stakeholders the potential of EVs in public and private fleets. Wallace said, "The events are successful because they stimulate real and meaningful exchanges by EV industry representatives, public entities, and interested parties on the advancement of EV technology."

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