Electric VehicleBack in 2009, auto blog Gas 2.0 published a fun little rivalry between former mayors of San Francisco and Portland who each declared that their city would be the EV leaders of the nation.

Former Mayor of Portland Sam Adams continues to advocate for EV infrastructure build out as he partakes in community events to celebrate new charging stations like in Portland’s Alberta District.

The unofficial race between Portland and San Francisco to be the first city to Electrify itself for EV’s makes for an amusing competition. Both Portland and San Francisco arguably could claim the title as the number 1 EV leader with both boasting private investments and stimulus funds that began a few years back and still continues to this day.

According to the Portland Business Journal, Oregon’s governor has made this a top priority by soliciting “green companies” to settle in the state, and particularly in the Portland metro region. And in California, Ready, Set, Charge outlines the states priorities and guidelines for EV infrastructure build out.


EV Charging Station Unveiled in Portland from Former Mayor Sam Adams on Vimeo.

Portland EV Cred:

  • Oregon now boasts more than 40 quick charging stations according to Sustainable Business Oregon.
  • West Coast Electric Highway and “The EV Project” show the Portland Region with more charging stations compared to San Francisco.
  • Oregon has a public-private organization, Drive Oregon, making strategic partnerships with the Department of Energy to boost EV investments.
  • The eGallon is much cheaper to operate EV’s in Oregon compared to California and the national average.

The journal wrote that Oregon was chosen as an electric vehicle testing market early on. The program started out in Portland and then expanded into Salem, Corvallis, and Eugene. Three other Oregon companies received stimulus funds related to building EV infrastructure as well.

San Francisco EV Cred:

  • In 2012, San Francisco sponsored the city’s first “EV Week” where thousands of EV enthusiasts came to see the latest and greatest in the electric vehicle world.
  • Like Oregon, the Bay Area has Charge Across Town, a cooperative venture between local government, private business, and EV enthusiasts to help promote the local EV industry.
  • Where traffic problems plague Californians, Clean Air Stickers, allow Zero Emission Vehicles and Plug-in Hybrids to drive in HOV lanes as a single occupant, providing a nice incentive in support of electric vehicles.
  • Car Sharing service, Drive Now, is a fleet of 80 all electric BMW vehicles in San Francisco – helping boost EV awareness and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

See Tweet:

In the on-going unofficial competition between West Coast cities for being National Leaders in the electric vehicle race, it seems that the beneficiaries will be the people and the environment. Early adopters are leading the way to a low carbon society and it’s a good thing to see government and private businesses come together to help forge the future of transportation.

One thing seems for sure, and that is, in the next decade more EV infrastructure will get built out and EV’s will become less and less of a niche market and more and more mainstream.

Note: Hopefully we weren’t too biases towards Portland. Please do let us know of any exciting San Francisco efforts in the EV world :)

Thought, Comments, Suggestions…


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