Gas stations install electric car chargers

Gas stations install electric car chargers
The nozzle for a new electric car charging station is shown where Portland General Electric and NEC announce opening North America's first public-use, quick-charge station for electric vehicles in Portland, Ore., Thursday, Aug. 5, 2010. The Takasago rapid charging station is specialized for recharging lithium-ion batteries and requires only 20-30 minutes to recharge a battery to 80 percent of full strength. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Some BP and Arco stations in Portland, Eugene, Salem and Corvallis will have fast chargers installed for electric vehicles.

Project managers said Wednesday about two-dozen fast chargers would be installed by July to ease the anxiety of drivers nearing the end of their range on the I-5 corridor.

Fast chargers can recharge a car in 15 to 30 minutes.

The majority of 1,100 charging stations being installed in the state will take from 45 minutes to three hours to recharge a car, The Oregonian reported Thursday.

San Francisco-based ECOtality is the project manager for a $230 million installation initiative, about half of which is funded by the U.S. Energy Department using stimulus money. The EV Project includes 16 states and major metropolitan areas, installing more than 15,000 charging stations during three years.

Oregon cities, government agencies, utilities and other entities have helped ECOtality develop maps identifying high-priority areas for chargers.

Only about 310 charging stations in the 16 states will be fast chargers, said Caitlin Cieslik-Miskimen, an ECOtality spokeswoman.

Electric-vehicle drivers could plug into the slower chargers "if they wanted to top off a battery," Cieslik-Miskimen said, "or just get a little bit of extra juice so they can get home."

"We'll make sure downtown Portland has a lot of chargers that are accessible," she said.

Oregon will get at least 23 of the fast chargers.

The slower chargers may be desirable for retail businesses that want customers to stick around and shop a while, said David Mayfield, ECOtality area manager for stakeholder services in Oregon.

In a separate announcement Wednesday, another company, Eaton Corp., will modify and integrate electric-vehicle quick chargers at its Wilsonville plant.

"This is just the beginning of new, private investments because of our commitment to moving the entire Pacific Northwest away from fossil-fuel vehicles," said Gov. Ted Kulongoski.

Eaton plans to work on a quick charger for the North American market capable of recharging an electric vehicle to 80 percent of battery capacity in 15 to 30 minutes. Eaton, a Cleveland-based power-management company, employs 85 at Wilsonville.


Information from: The Oregonian,


Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.