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PSU, Partners to Evaluate New Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle
Author: David Santen, Office of University Communications
Posted: April 13, 2010

(Portland, Ore.) April 13, 2010 – Portland State University (PSU) and its Oregon partners, including Portland General Electric (NYSE:POR), have been selected by Toyota as one of six groups nationally to demonstrate and evaluate the next-generation Prius Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle (PHV).

Toyota will place ten of its Prius PHVs, equipped with lithium-ion batteries, in Oregon later this spring as part of the company’s global demonstration program. Portland State University will administer the program regionally. Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., made the announcement today at the 2010 Toyota Sustainable Mobility Seminar in La Jolla, Calif. Other U.S. program partners include Qualcomm, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Southern California Air Quality Management District, University of California, Berkeley, and University of Colorado.

“We are very pleased to have been selected to help manage and evaluate Toyota’s Plug-in Prius demo here in Oregon,” said Wim Wiewel, president, Portland State University. “PSU will work closely with our partners Portland General Electric, the city of Portland and others to evaluate a variety of driving conditions involving this vehicle in both hybrid and all-electric modes.”

“The Portland and Salem metro areas are excellent locations for Toyota’s Prius Plug-in Hybrid global demonstration project,” said Jim Piro, president and chief executive officer, PGE. “Oregonians have already shown great commitment to being early adopters of sustainable transportation options and welcome the opportunity to participate in shaping future electric vehicle programs.”

Portland State University and Portland General Electric recently formed a strategic alliance around a shared vision of the Portland region as a leader in developing and implementing urban sustainability (

One primary thrust of the partnership is to promote “urban mobility,” which includes studying charging station infrastructure issues, rolling out test vehicle fleets, analyzing consumer response, and policy development. PSU and PGE are also working to bolster the region’s growing electric vehicle manufacturing, charging and supplier industry.

Other key partners in this project include the city of Portland; Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium, a National University Transportation Center based at Portland State University, and in partnership with University of Oregon, Oregon State University, and Oregon Institute of Technology (; Zipcar, the world’s largest car sharing and car club service; the Portland Development Commission; and the state of Oregon.
“Toyota’s announcement re-affirms Portland’s leadership position in sustainable mobility and adoption of EV technology,” said Portland Mayor Sam Adams. “We are honored that Toyota has selected Portland and will work closely with our regional partners to make sure that the project is a success.”

About Toyota’s Sustainable Mobility Program
In late 2009, Toyota began delivery of 600 Prius PHVs to select demonstration cities around the world. Of those, 150 are being assigned to program partners in five U.S. markets, including Portland, Ore.

The project will allow Toyota to gather in-use driving feedback and understand customer expectations for plug-in technology, including commute length, driving habits, access to charging stations and other consumer needs. The program is aimed at market preparedness for plug-in hybrids, which will arrive at Toyota dealerships in 2012, along with an all-new battery electric commuter vehicle.

On the technical side, the program aims to confirm, in a wide variety of real world applications, the overall performance of Toyota's first-generation lithium-ion battery technology, while spurring the development of public-access charging station infrastructure. The first generation lithium-ion battery enables all-electric operation at higher speeds and longer distances than the conventional Prius hybrid.

Data from the 150 U.S. demonstration vehicles will be posted to Toyota’s program Web site ( and to Oregon’s electric vehicle Web site ( This data will help consumers understand how the plug-in hybrid vehicles are being used, how they're performing and if the vehicle might be right for them.

Toyota Prius PHV FAQ:

About PGE

Portland General Electric (NYSE:POR), headquartered in Portland, Ore., is a fully integrated electric utility that serves approximately 816,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Oregon.

About Portland State University

Portland State University (PSU) serves as a center of opportunity for over 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Located in Portland, Oregon, one of the nation’s most livable cities, the University’s innovative approach to education combines academic rigor in the classroom with field-based experiences through internships and classroom projects with community partners. The University’s 49-acre downtown campus provides a living laboratory for Portland State’s commitment to sustainability, with many of the 125 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees incorporating sustainability into the curriculum. PSU’s motto, “Let Knowledge Serve the City,” inspires the teaching and research of an accomplished faculty whose work and students span the globe.

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For immediate release (#10-013)

Scott Gallagher, Portland State University, 503-725-8789,
Elaina Medina, Portland General Electric, 503-464-8790,
Roy Kaufmann, Communications Director, City of Portland Mayor’s Office, 503-823-4799,


George Beard, Office of Research and Sponsored Projects, Portland State University, 503-772-0222