"I believe the future is electric," said Newsom, who added he wants to make his northern California redoubt "the cornerstone of the coming market for EVs. Not just governments, but key companies, business associations, policy advocates and international car and EV infrastructure companies are working together to make the San Francisco Bay Area the EV Capital of the U.S."
To which Portland Mayor Sam Adams says, "Nuts." Well, he didn't actually say that, but he did say, "Bring it on. We're going to do everything we can to be the leader in EVs."
Newsom is distressed "because every year it is the number one sustainable city in the U.S. So we're going after Portland. Enough of Portland. If you're from Portland, give us a break. We don't want to be the runner-up forever."
San Francisco launched its program last December with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. on the program. The city is partnering with Shai Agassi's Better Place, headquartered in nearby Palo Alto. The network is to include 100 battery-swap stations and as many as 250,000 individual charging locations. Battery swapping is somewhat controversial, and it could be overtaken by fast-charging stations that take only 10 to 15 minutes to get cars back on the road.
Agassi says his company will start installing charging stations in San Francisco next year, and hopes to have 100,000 EVs on the road by 2012.
Oregon already has the country's densest concentration of hybrid cars. According to Project Get Ready, a spin-off of the Rocky Mountain Institute, Portland is moving forward with EVs, too. The state created what it calls the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Infrastructure Working Group last September, and since then has "entered agreements with Toyota, Nissan, and Mitsubishi to be a testing ground for their new plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles." Large companies like Portland General Electric are onboard for building charging networks. The state is trying to get $15 million in Department of Energy funding through the Clean Cities program to start installing charging stations.
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