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Emerald Valley Electric Vehicle Association

Where do I charge my electric vehicle in Oregon?

Those of us who have been driving for any length of time know how to fuel a conventional gas- or diesel-powered car or truck. Simply pull into a fueling station and let the attendant fill the tank. But how about for an electric vehicle?

In some ways, the fueling process is much better, mostly because you have the option of filling your "tank" (batteries) at home for minimal cost. However, charging batteries does take more time than filling a gas tank, requiring some minor changes in travel habits if you drive a long distance in a single day.

Fortunately there are some great resources for helping to understand EV charging and to find a place to charge up when you need to.

The local utility for Eugene is very supportive of electric vehicle adoption and has a web page explaining the basic types of charging. The information is particularly helpful for understanding home charging. Click here to go to the summary page of information, which is equally useful to everyone in Oregon, not just EWEB's customers.

There is one perk of being an EWEB customer, however, which is that EWEB offers substantial rebates to residential and commercial customers for installing a Level 2 charger, which charges batteries a lot faster than plugging in to a standard 120-volt electric outlet! Click here to find out about the rebates.

Similarly, EPUD offers a rebate of up to $750 for installing a Level 2 charging equipment at home, although the rebate is capped at 50% of the installed cost of the equipment.

If you want to charge your car away from home, you need to find somewhere that has a place to plug in. While there are some dedicated charging locations similar to gas stations, one great convenience for electric vehicles is that the charging units can be anywhere -- at restaurants, hotels, shopping centers, parking garages, or anywhere else that businesses or public agencies have decided to install them. In the near future, these opportunities to plug in will be so common you won't have to think about it too much, but right now it helps to have a map, preferably one on a smart phone app. While there are some dedicated networks, the PlugShare website and app seem to have the best general coverage. Click here to visit.

Another app that is very useful is Chargeway. This phone app is distinctive in that you can enter your car model and the route you would like to drive, and it will show you where to stop and charge and estimate how long it will take based on the charging unit and your car's capabilities. It is great for trip planning.

Charging up at the LRAPA office in Springfield