Nation’s first Electric Avenue opens to public on PSU campus
Author: Scott Gallagher, University Communications
Posted: August 16, 2011

Portland State University now hosts the nation’s first Electric Avenue — a street dedicated to showcasing electric transportation technology — thanks to a unique partnership between the university, Portland General Electric, and the city of Portland. 

(Pictured: PSU President Wim Wiewel plugs in an electric vehicle on PSU's Electric Avenue.)

Electric Avenue, a two-year research and development project, features seven EV charging stations from six manufacturers, including a quick-charge station, where students and visitors can plug in and charge up electric cars, trucks, bicycles and motorcycles. Electric Avenue is located on Southwest Montgomery Street between Southwest Broadway and Southwest Sixth Avenue.

On Electric Avenue, which opened to the public Aug. 16, drivers can plug in and charge up at one of five available level 2 charging stations, which can charge a vehicle in 4-6 hours, or at the quick-charge station, which can charge a vehicle in less than 30 minutes.

Electric Avenue includes charging stations from Eaton, ECOtality, General Electric, OpConnect, Shorepower Technologies, and SPX. Free charging sponsored by PSU. All charging stations are powered with 100 percent PGE renewable power. Standard parking rates apply.

Electric vehicle manufacturers attended the grand opening and charged up their vehicles including the: Arcimoto Darkwing, Chevrolet Volt, Ford Transit Connect, Mitsubishi iMiEV, Nissan LEAF, Smith Newton, Tesla Roadster, and the Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid.

Electric Avenue is part of an ongoing partnership between PSU, PGE and the city of Portland to showcase EVs, charging technology, and urban design through collaboration.

"As we implement new, green technologies, it is critical that we research how best to use them. PSU is at the forefront nationally and internationally in understanding what it takes to develop sustainable transportation systems," said Wim Wiewel, president of Portland State University.

“Through our partnership with PSU and the city of Portland, we are able to make projects like Electric Avenue happen in Oregon,” said Jim Piro, president and CEO, PGE. “With more than 800 electric vehicles already on Oregon roads and more on the way, projects like Electric Avenue provide charging opportunities for EV drivers who live and work in urban areas while allowing us to study integrating electric transportation into our system.”

“In 2010, our City Council adopted an electric vehicle strategy to position Portland as an early adopter market,” said Portland Mayor Sam Adams. “EV promotion is a key strategy that will help the city achieve its climate action targets while reducing air pollution and vehicle miles traveled, and increasing the share of walking, biking, and transit trips. Electric Avenue is a huge step forward in helping Portland reach its goals.”

Electric Avenue technology partners and charging stations include:

  • Eaton Corp is providing two charging stations: a quick-charge station and a Level 2 (240-volt) charging station
  • ECOtality is providing one Level 2 (240-volt) charging station
  • General Electric is providing a Level 2 (240-volt) charging station
  • OpConnect is providing a dual-headed Level 2 (240-volt) charging station
  • Shorepower Technologies is providing a Level 2 (240-volt) charging station
  • SPX is providing a Level 2 (240-volt) charging station