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07/31/2008 08:20 AM     print story email story  

PGE Unveils EV Charging Station News

On Tuesday, Portland General Electic Co. (NYSE: POR) unveiled a new charging station designed for use by electric or hybrid-electric vehicles, according to a report in the Portland Business Journal.

The Portland, Oregon-based utility demonstrated the 8-foot tall rectangular station outside its downtown headquarters. A dozen of the charging stations, which allow for two vehicles to charge simultaneously using either 120- or 240-volt outlet, have been purchased for $2,500 each by businesses in the city. 

These include several Burgerville locations, a Columbia Sportswear outlet, Nike and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. These companies will initially pay for the electricity provided, though plans are for future charging stations to require payment. 

Toyota representatives were on hand with a demonstration plug-in version of the company's hybrid Prius. Toyota vice president Chris Hostetter said it was one of the first hybrid models upgraded for plug-in capability by Toyota. Earlier versions have all been modified by third-parties, he said. 

The model on hand featured two nickel-metal hydride batteries capable of traveling only 7 miles on a single charge--still a far cry from th 40 miles per charge automakers say they are shooting for. 

Hostetter said the company is targeting 10 miles per charge with another prototype being developed with lithium-ion batteries. If that's the case, the company has some ground to cover before releasing plug-in hybrids by the target date of 2010.

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