Electric vehicle group seeks $2.45M to build industry in Oregon
By Christina Williams, Sustainable Business Oregon
Sustainable Business Oregon
The Arcimoto Pulse in Salem.
The Oregon Roundtable for the Electric Vehicle Industry announced Thursday it is seeking $2.45 million from the Oregon Innovation Council to hire staff and establish a formal group to nurture the electric vehicle industry here.
The group, which goes by OREV, submitted a proposal to the council in response to a request it made for industry innovation initiatives.
There's been no shortage of activity around electric vehicles in Oregon. The list of electric vehicles to be tested in the Portland market continues to grow (Navistar's eStar truck, Mitsubishi iMieV, Nissan Leaf, the electric Smart Car, the plug-in Toyota Prius, to name five). Efforts from Portland General Electric, Portland State University and ECOtality North America are underway to build out and test the electric car charging infrastructure.
OREV's focus will be trained on the role of Oregon companies — such as Arcimoto and Barefoot Motors — working to build electric vehicles and to build an electric vehicle industry supply chain. The Portland Development Commission has been working with the group to get it established.
"We want to take the lead in developing public-private partnerships to support the industry," said Trevor Steele, director of government relations for Arcimoto. "We want to work with local governments to determine how the electric vehicle industry fits into the larger economic development scheme."
Electric vehicle companies joined forces earlier this year to lobby for recognition by the state Legislature.
The Oregon Innovation Council received 26 funding proposals and will start sifting through them next week. The initiatives selected will eventually become a part of the 2011-2013 Innovation Plan to be submitted to the Legislature in January. The soonest any funds will be distributed would be July 2011.
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