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Plugging Into the Future (Electric Vehicles)

Plugging Into the Future (Electric Vehicles)

No muss, no fuss, no emissions, and no oil. That's the hope of electric vehicle (EV) enthusiasts and the reason why car manufacturers such as Ford, Toyota, and Nissan are coming to Portland and PSU to introduce and test their new electric cars. "There's a lot of movement in the West and especially in Portland to support getting more and more transportation off of petroleum based products," said Mike Tinskey, Ford's manager of vehicle electrification and infrastructure.

PSU is partnering with car manufacturers including Ford, and utility providers such as PGE, to demonstrate, evaluate, and plan for rolling out electric cars to the public. The University is currently working on a consumer behavioral study with 10 Toyota plug-in hybrids and provides expertise in smart grid technologies and infrastructure development as well as teaching courses in EV technologies.

"PSU is looking at the intersection of urban development, governance, engineering, and public transit—all toward answering the questions of how will we and how should we move people and goods in the future," said George Beard, professor and expert in urban mobility.

PSU's interest in the electrification of transportation is evident in its new Urban Center Plaza, now the busiest transportation hub in Portland where the MAX light rail and Portland Streetcar meet. And with over 75 percent of faculty, staff, and students using alternative means to get to campus, PSU is looking forward to an electric future.

"This is no longer an experiment," said Wim Wiewel president of PSU. "The future is here and it's happening in Portland."