Portland Local First to Join
|Local 48’s Chevy Volt and charging station demonstrates its commitment to being an integral part of the renewable energy economy.|
As part of that effort, DOE established the Workplace Charging Challenge to increase workplace “PEV” charging stations by American employers by a factor of 10 over the next five years.
In July, 15 Oregon employers signed onto the Workplace Charging Challenge. And the Portland Business Journal reported two firsts. Oregon was the first state to take the pledge. And Portland Local 48 was the first U.S. union local to sign on.
Portland leads the nation with 236 charging stations or 102.2 for every 1 million residents. Other local employers signing onto the challenge included Portland General Electric and Intel.
Local 48’s focus on electric cars and renewables isn’t new. In 2012, the local unveiled nine new charging stations at its hall and training center. U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, who was present at the event, called expanded electric vehicle promotion a “win-win” that will improve national security by decreasing America’s dependence on oil from the Middle East.
Gary Young, Local 48 business manager, says that work on charging stations, like the solar array at the union’s offices, enhances the local’s mission:
“As professional installers of cutting edge energy efficient innovations for homes and businesses, our mission is to lead the electrical industry--by example--to the highest levels of quality, skill, competence, value and integrity, thus earning the acceptance of our customers and community.”
“Electric Avenue,” a partnership between Portland Gas and Electric, NECA, the IBEW and Portland State University, has been conducting research into expanding electrical vehicle support infrastructure.
The DOE reports that today, about half of the vehicles in the U.S. are parked at overnight locations with access to plugs, providing a “great foundation for the country’s PEV charging infrastructure.” Workplace charging stations can potentially double a PEV driver’s all-electric daily commuting range. The department’s Vehicle Technologies Office is aiding research into reducing the cost, volume and weight of electric vehicle batteries and improving electric traction and drive systems.
National sponsors of the charging challenge include other IBEW-organized employers, Duke Energy, Siemens and Verizon.
For more information about the charging challenge, visit www.electricvehicles.energy.gov.