Located in the south end of downtown Portland, Oregon, this two-year project is situated in the heart of the PSU’s bustling campus adjacent to Portland’s Sixth Avenue Transit Mall where light rail trains, electric street cars, buses, cars, bikes, and pedestrians share a well-integrated personal and public transit corridor. It is a perfect place to understand the fit and flow of electric vehicles in the larger mobility context of the city.
This exciting and unique undertaking was launched in August of 2011 as a two-year project to learn about the interaction and performance of charging stations and a variety of electric vehicles starting to appear in our region. We also seek to understand the charging preferences and travel patterns of EV visitors.
Why do this at all? And why do this in Portland?
As to the first question, we do this because the rapid population growth, mass urbanization, and energy security issues make sustainable urban mobility a top-of-the-agenda item for every metropolitan region on the planet in the decades ahead.
As to the second question, the simple answer is that the Portland region has been electrifying its transportation system since the 1980s when light rail trains were introduced, and, more recently, when modern electric streetcars were reintroduced in 2001. With a whole range of all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles now coming to market, we made the choice not simply to react to their appearance, but to understand and document how they worked, how well they performed, and if they served the region’s long-view interests in urban planning, personal and freight mobility, economic development, public health, and quality of life.
Come visit Electric Avenue soon! Plug in. Charge up. Drive on.