Oregon’s Electric Vehicle Industry Green and Growing

PORTLAND, Oregon, June 25, 2012 (ENS) – Drive Oregon is offering over $145,000 to advance electric vehicles in the first round of its new Matching Grant Program.

A nonprofit public-private partnership in the state on the U.S. Pacific coast, Drive Oregon is funded in part with Oregon State Lottery Funds. Drive Oregon’s mission is solely to grow, support and promote the state’s electric vehicle industry.

Drive Oregon has selected five projects to receive the grants from batteries to bicycles to hydraulic-electric hybrid motors. The awards are contingent upon the receipt of matching funds at least five times greater than the Drive Oregon investment.

If all five of the selected projects receive those matching funds, the grants are expected to leverage over $1.3 million in added investment.

The initial Matching Grants were awarded for a range of electric vehicle projects.

  • $50,000 to support the Polaris Advanced Battery Research and Development Center, which will accelerate commercialization for a wide range of companies developing new lithium ion battery products.
  • $44,100 to support an electric bicycle demonstration project with Drive Oregon member company Conscious Commuter and the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium at Portland State University
  • $22,484 to Portland State University to support research aimed at quantifying and modeling the regional economic impacts of a shift to electric vehicles
  • $15,000 to KersTech to support modeling, design, and development of its compound hydraulic-electric hybrid motor technology for use on transit buses
  • $15,000 to the Oregon Institute of Technology to support work in modeling, simulation, and development of motor control algorithms

“This award will play a key role in the success of our project, which we expect to leverage more than $800,000 in outside funding, create four high-wage jobs within a year, and ramp up to over 15 jobs in the next two to three years,” said Doug Morris, developer of the Polaris Center.

Racing champion electric motorcycle by Brammo based in Ashland, Oregon (Photo courtesy Brammo)

Drive Oregon used the TTXGP electric motorcycle race at Portland International Raceway this past weekend as a venue for EV Live, an event created to excite drivers about going electric.

Raceway visitors were invited to test drive a Nissan Leaf, a Chevy Volt and a Mitsubishi i-MiEV.

Also on view were the new Empulse electric motorcycle by Oregon-based company Brammo Inc., which last year won the North American electric motorcycle racing series.

RYNO Motors, based in Portland, showed off its single-wheel, self-balancing micro-cycle. RYNO is now selecting a manufacturing partner for production of this unusual electric bike that will retail for about US$4,500. Product will first be available in the United States with dealer networks being expanded into Europe in mid to late 2013, the company says.

Taking part in the show was the three-wheeled, all electric Pulse by Arcimoto, based in the University town of Eugene, Oregon. TTXGP founder and chief executive Azhar Hussain told the publication “Sustainable Business Oregon.”

“By launching EV Live,” said Hussain, “Portland is staking its claim for the next generation of transportation technology and we are proud to be part of it.”

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2012. All rights reserved.