Posted by Mark Nystrom, Oregon Fellow working for the Association of Oregon Counties
Over the past few weeks I have been gathering information about how communities outside the I-5 corridor feel about the electrification of transportation. This task has led me on trips with Sarah to Coos County, Tillamook County and most recently Harney County.
When I was first given this task I was uncertain how rural Oregon would respond to the idea of electrification. After all, everyone knows that people away from the I-5 live on ranches and drive hundreds of miles a day. Or that seems to be the prevailing thought. According to an ODOT study, rural Oregonians actually spend about the same amount of time in their cars as their counterparts in Portland. In fact, most people live in towns and make the same standard trips in their cars as people in Eugene, Salem or Portland: they drive their kids to school and practice, they go to work, they go grocery shopping. In other words, the majority of people living outside the I-5 corridor could replace their gas fueled car with a PEV. Even the residents of these communities seemed surprised at how little they actually use their car.
That’s what has made these trips so interesting. Once people starting thinking about it, they get pretty excited. The people on the coast are excited about the prospect of attracting tourists from the I-5 communities to their towns by setting up charging stations. They recognize...Read more