Energize Oregon Coalition Launch Sets Stage for Collaboration

(November 13, 2013) – On November 7th, Drive Oregon and the Oregon Department of Transportation convened the inaugural meeting of the Energize Oregon Coalition in downtown Portland, putting into motion critical collaboration that will ensure a strong market for plug-in electric vehicles in the state.  Over eighty representatives of industry members, automakers including Honda, Ford, GM, and Nissan, electric utilities, vehicle charging providers, government agencies, and environmental non-profits attended the meeting, signaling widespread interest in this effort. 

Built on the dedicated work of the Transportation Electrification Executive Council (TEEC) and the recommendations of the 2012 Energizing Oregon Plan, the Coalition aims to identify important electric vehicle deployment projects and expedite progress through small, action-oriented task forces.  The Coalition was formed in early 2013 through an agreement between Governor Kitzhaber’s Office, the Oregon Department of Transportation, and Drive Oregon to coordinate this important work to be done.

At the November 7th meeting, after attendees were presented with a brief history of the electric vehicle movement in Oregon, the initial topics that will be the focus of the Coalition were introduced.  Workplace Charging, Policy Incentives, and EV Tourism were selected because of their important role in market growth and Oregon’s existing expertise in these areas that can be further developed.  In 90-minute break-out sessions delving into each topic, attendees shared their perspectives, potential solutions, and what other stakeholders to invite into the task force.  A fourth break-out session also explored what emerging issues the Coalition should be aware of and possibly also focus on in the future.

Designated chairs of the task forces will continue the conversation on their group’s priorities.  Each group will meet again before the end of the year, calling together interested stakeholders to create specific goals and work plans to guide their efforts in 2014.  If you are interested in becoming engaged in one of the task forces, but did not attend the Coalition Launch, please contact Zach Henkin at zach@driveoregon.org

The full Energize Oregon Coalition will meet annually, where task forces will gather to report on their progress and new priorities may be selected.  The 2014 Annual Meeting is tentatively set for July 2014, to coincide with the EV Roadmap 7 Conference.