Portland passes wide-ranging electric vehicle policy

Portland electric car plan

A new report indicates that utilities could play ain important role in integrating electric transportation into resource planning.

The Portland City Council unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday to enact a new plan for electric vehicles that includes supportive city policies for electric cars — such as streamlined permitting and designated charger-equipped parking — as well as purchasing electric vehicles for the city's fleet and promoting their benefits.

The plan hinges on the premise that, in order to meet emission-reduction goals outlined in the Climate Action Plan adopted by the city last year, electric vehicles must be successful in Portland. The plan estimates that 13 percent of all non-commercial vehicle miles traveled on Portland's roads in 2030 will need to be in electric vehicles.

The plan comprises eight steps that Mayor Sam Adams will recommend that the Portland Development Commission, the Portland Bureau of Transportation, The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, the Bureau of Development Services and the city's fleet services bureau take action on.

The plan's components are:

  • • Adopt electric vehicle-friendly policies such as easy permitting, signage for public charging stations and parking rules. The city will also consider "clean taxi" priority at major hubs such as Portland International Airport and look for ways to partner on electric vehicle-related smart grid development.
  • • Educate the public about the tax incentives available for electric vehicles.
  • • Develop a program to make it easier for garage-less electric car owners to charge their cars at home.
  • • Develop job-creation initiatives related to electric vehicles.
  • • Purchase electric vehicles for the city's fleet. The plan recommends 20 percent of Portland's 2,800-vehicle fleet be electric by 2030.
  • • Facilitate the adoption of electric and hybrid vehicles in the trucking industry.
  • • Work with car-sharing companies such as Zipcar to ensure affordable access to electric car technology.
  • • Continue to look for ways to partner with the private sector to support electric vehicle infrastructure development.

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