Drive Oregon envisions state as EV testing hub
By Lee van der Voo, Sustainable Business Oregon
Sustainable Business Oregon
Oregon has already forged a reputation as a leader in electric vehicle technology thanks to the emergence of companies like Portland-based startup Greenlite Motors.
Oregon’s electric vehicle incubator, Drive Oregon, is pressing forward to position the state as a one-of-a-kind testing ground for electric vehicles and as a place where local manufacturers, designers and component developers convene to form their own, unique marketplace.
The strategy is aided with $1.2 million in funding for Drive Oregon, sanctioned by the Oregon Legislature and Gov. John Kitzhaber in the last budget cycle. The nonprofit is now under the wing of the Oregon Innovation Council as one of six industry incubators and laboratories that also include the green-leaning Oregon Wave Energy Trust and the Oregon Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies Center, known as Oregon BEST.
“Drive Oregon embodies the kind of organization that can help position our state to leverage its leadership in the electric vehicle sector and to grow solid family- and high- wage jobs and keep money in the local economy,” said Multnomah County Chair Jeff Cogen, and chair of the Governor’s Transportation Electrification Executive Council (TEEC).
The Drive Oregon board named Barry Woods and James Mast as the interim leadership team to guide the organization.
Woods, a consulting attorney in private practice and a Drive Oregon board member, will serve as interim executive director. Mast, a former senior project manager for transportation electrification with the Portland Development Commission, will serve as interim operations director.
The duo say they are currently crafting Drive Oregon’s strategy with the Oregon Innovation Council, a blueprint for a contract that will tie the agency to deliverables. But the organization is likely to focus on building Oregon’s reputation as place for businesses to develop and deploy technologies and to attract federal and private resources, and continue to build bridges between the industry and Oregon universities, community colleges, utilities and other clean technology businesses – all with a goal of creating jobs.
Lee van der Voo, lvdvoo*at*gmail.com, is a freelance writer for Sustainable Business Oregon
If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending on your privacy settings. By leaving the 'Post to Facebook' box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.