Electric Cars

A new measure backed by Idaho Power Co. would allow business owners to resell public utility electricity to electric car drivers.

The House State Affairs Committee voted Tuesday to introduce a bill permitting companies to buy the electricity from a public utility and then resell it to charge electric car batteries.

Rich Hahn from Idaho Power says that current state law prevents reselling electricity provided by a public utility. This means businesses are footing the bill for having electric car charging stations.

Just like consumers who postponed buying new cars during the recent recession, government agencies also put off vehicle replacements. But now procurement officers are getting busy again.

tinatinatinatinatina / Flickr

Imagine paying 84 cents per gallon for your commute, compared to today's statewide average of $3.80 in Idaho for a gallon of gas. 84 cents per gasoline gallon equivalent is how much the U.S. Department of Energy figures it costs to recharge an electric car in Idaho. The agency's assistant secretary David Danielson announced an online cost comparison calculator Tuesday for what he calls the "e-Gallon."

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

A couple years ago, Democratic politicians at the state and national levels set heady goals for battery powered cars. For example, here's President Obama in his 2011 State of the Union speech.

"With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015," he said.

Nissan

The automaker Nissan says sales of its fully electric Leaf compact surpassed all other Nissan models at dealers in the Seattle and Portland areas this spring. Wednesday's announcement runs counter to the prevailing wisdom that adoption of plug-in cars has been sluggish.

More Electric Cars Could Mean More Power Demand

Apr 13, 2012
Rain Rabbit / Flickr

The Northwest Power and Conservation Council says more electric cars on the roads will use more power in the future.   The agency is increasing its previous estimates of how much power plug-in cars will need by 2030. The Council says high gas prices and better technology could drive up electric car sales. That means drivers will need more power to plug in their vehicles.

Interstate-5: It’s Electric

Mar 19, 2012

It’s getting easier to take an electric car on a Northwest road-trip. I-5 is going electric.

There’s a Chevron station just off of I-5 in Central Point, Oregon. You can buy gas there. Its more than $4 a gallon. Or you can plug in an electric car for free, and charge it in about 20 minutes. The Oregon Department of Transportation has just opened 8 stations like this one in Southern Oregon. Neil Appleton lives in Grants Grants pass. He brought his electric Nissan Leaf.

“I’ve had it close to a year. Seven thousand miles and not one drop of gasoline."