Salem will soon be home to an electric vehicle charge station. “The EV Project” will begin installing stations in Salem, Eugene, Portland and Corvallis. ECOtality, the project manager is overseeing a $230 million initiative to deploy nearly 15,000 charging stations in six states and the District of Columbia. The project is funded, in part, through a grant from the Department of Energy.

Of the 2000 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to be installed in Oregon, approximately 1100 will be publicly available for EV drivers. The remaining 900 chargers are for eligible Oregon residents who purchase a qualifying electric vehicle. Nissan North American and General Motors/Chevrolet are partners in The EV Project. Purchasers of the Nissan LEAF zero-emissions electric car or the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid with extended range may qualify to participate in The EV Project. For these drivers, a residential charger will be provided free of charge, and most, if not all of the costs of installation, will be paid for by The EV Project.

The City of Salem has been working with ECOtality, the State of Oregon, and other public and private sector partners since January 2010 to prepare for the deployment of EV charging stations, including identifying suitable public charging locations. The total number of public EV charging stations to be installed in Salem will depend on a number of factors, including zoning, commuting patterns, traffic counts, and the number of preregistered purchasers of the Nissan LEAF and Chevy Volt.

Consumers, fleet owners/managers, businesses, and organizations interested in participating in The EV Project may obtain additional information and request a charging station at their business location through the project’s website at: theevproject.com. For more on the city’s participation in The EV Project, visit cityofsalem/sustainability.