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Prius Plug-In Demo Project Concluded

April 10, 2012

George Beard, PSU Research & Strategic Partnerships

Since July 2010, Portland State University has been one of a small handful of hosts for Toyota's Prius Plug-In Demonstration Project. That project ended last Friday, April 6th when Oregon's fleet of 10 test vehicles was officially returned to Toyota's Parts Distribution Center for transport back to Toyota's headquarters in Torrance, CA.

The Prius Plug-in Demo vehicles were similar to conventional Prius gas-electric hybrids, except these had been built with a lithium battery that provided up to 14-miles of all-electric driving. The pilot project quickly revealed that this additional battery electric mode, in combination with the vehicles 51 mpg EPA rating, could lead to some dramatic "blended" mileage numbers - frequently in the 75-80 mile range sometimes rising as high as 135 mpg when the car was routinely charged during daily commute and errand segments.

During the 21-month project, the vehicles were assigned for 1-2 month test periods to dozens of drivers - retirees, students, commuters, homemakers, and workers - in Portland, Salem, Corvallis, Eugene, Ashland, and Redmond. The vehicles also regularly appeared at auto shows, conferences, county fairs, and the commissioning of EV charge stations.

In their last work assignment, the vehicles participated in a simple but interesting study conducted with employees at Intel and CH2M Hill. Titled "A Plug-In Hybrid vs. Your Car: A Comparative MPG Study," the study set out to capture the fuel economy improvements afforded by plug-in hybrid technology over the gas powered car that the subject owned and normally drove each day. Results from this study are expected in late May from PSU's office of Research & Strategic Partnerships and could be very timely as gas hovers in the $4.50 per gallon range.

Toyota began selling a consumer version of the Prius Plug-in in early 2012.

Portland's Electric Avenue Driving Electric Cars Into the Mainstream

March 26, 2012

By Justin Gurdes, Forbes

Reports confirm what experts had predicted: Electric car owners do most of their charging at home. Many of those same experts also agree that there will be a place for public charging stations, to inoculate against the much-feared “range anxiety,” or to provide EV owners the flexibility to take trips beyond the daily commute.

Earlier this month, I visited the campus of Portland State University (PSU), just south of downtown Portland, Oregon. I spent the morning with George Beard, Strategic Alliance Manager, PSU’s Office of Research & Strategic Partnerships. Beard and his on- and off-campus collaborators recently marked the six-month anniversary of one of the nation’s most important public electric car infrastructure projects. Below, I describe what PSU and its partners are up to; tomorrow, I’ll share 10 lessons learned thus far.

Read the full article, including 10 lessons learned from Electric Avenue at

Oregon drivers plug in to 'Electric Highway'

March 19, 2012

By Jeff Barnard, The Associated Press

Following a trail blazed by American Indians and pioneers in covered wagons, electric-car drivers hit the road last week to inaugurate the first major sections of a West Coast "Electric Highway" dotted with stations where they can charge up in 20 minutes.

The stretch of 160 miles of Insterstate 5 served by eight stations marks the next big step in developing an infrastructure that until now has been limited primarily to chargers in homes and workplaces.

The stations go from the California border north to Cottage Grove and are at gas stations, restaurants and motels just off the interstate. One is at an inn that once was a stagecoach stop.

Read the complete article at The Statesman Journal

Pioneering EV quick-charging station unveiled

February 29, 2012

The first electric vehicle quick charging station in the nation to use battery-assisted technology was unveiled on Electric Avenue today. The innovative Kanematsu device provides haf of the power from a ready-to-go battery pack, significantly reducing demand on the electric grid.
Read more about the all-new Kanematsu quick charger


All-Electric Coda Takes Off at PSU

November 4, 2011

The all-electric Coda sedan made its maiden voyage to Portland this week to appear at E.V. ROADMAP, a twice-yearly conference produced by Portland State University and Portland General Electric. 

The vehicle, pictured here at Portland’s Electric Avenue, was greeted by over 150 conference attendees, some of whom had the opportunity to test drive the Coda at the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry on the second day of the conference.

The Coda  ( claims a range up to 150 miles—about 5 times the average daily commute.  It also is said to have a faster-than-average charging time.  The attendees were excited to have the Coda join the growing list of full battery electric Nissan Leafs and Mitsubishi I’s as well as Chevy Volts and Toyota Prius plug-in hybrids that have been introduced in Portland since 2009.  “This is a really nice car for fleets and families alike,” said George Beard, the producer of E.V. Roadmap.  I was impressed by its spaciousness and its range.

Coda Automotive Inc.’s Northwest Fleet Sales Manager, Patty Youngdale
(tel: 925.673.5290; email: sent some love back to Portland stating, “Thanks you so much for such a fantastic workshop, the best one that I have been to yet!”

2012 Mitsubishi - First Drive

Introducing the newest electric car in America's "greenest" city.

By Thos. L. Bryant

Portland, Oregon, is a marvelous example of an eco-friendly city that is trying to be the most environmentally aware city in America. So it's no surprise that Mitsubishi Motors of America chose it for the launch of the iMiEV. After all, this is a city with a downtown free-rail zone for public transportation, solar-powered parking meters, 315 miles of in-city bikeways and 10,000 acres of parkland. And it boasts the nation's first Electric Avenue—a street at Portland State University that features seven EV charging stations, including a quick-charge station.

So, the U.S. introduction of the Mitsubishi i was well placed in Oregon's largest city. The i made its debut in Japan in 2005 with a gasoline engine and was named Japan's Car of the Year. The electric version came to market in July 2009 in Japan, and entered the European scene in 2010. The U.S. version is quite similar, but it does have to meet U.S. safety and crash standards, so it is 4.3 inches wider and 8.0 in. longer than the other versions. Also the track of the car was increased to improve stability and handling.

For the complete article go to: Road and Track

In Other News

NYTimes (8/26/11)

USA Today Online (8/19/11)

Wired (8/17/11)

Huffington Post (8/16/11)