Electric Vehicles

Electric Cars
12:54 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Slow Uptake Of Electric Cars Prompts Calls To Extend Washington Tax Break

Nissan Leafs charge on the Washington state Capitol campus Tuesday.
Tom Banse

The slow uptake of electric cars by Northwest drivers is prompting calls to extend a tax break in Washington state for new vehicles powered by alternative fuels. A sales tax exemption is set to expire next year.

Washington and Oregon have been among the best sales markets in the country for plug-in cars. But still, the number of fully electric and other alternative fuel vehicles on the road remains a tiny fraction of total registrations.

Read more
Electric Cars
1:01 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Government Fleets Soon To Include More Fully-Electric Cars

Commuter Steve Marsh, left, of Kent, Wash. was honored Monday as the first in the nation to log 100,000 miles on an all-electric Nissan Leaf.
Tom Banse

Just like consumers who postponed new car buying during the recent recession, so did government agencies put off vehicle replacements. But now procurement officers are getting busy again. In this buying cycle, every Western state is under a directive to buy alternative fuel vehicles and to reduce fossil fuel use.

The legislation or executive order always comes with a caveat: do so, except when it's not economically or logistically possible. A western Washington driver is showing what is possible when you push an electric car to its limit.

Read more
Electric Cars
11:02 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Fueling Up For 84 Cents Per 'eGallon'

Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 4:04 pm

Imagine paying less than a dollar per gallon for your commute, compared to today's statewide averages of $3.84 in Oregon and Washington and $3.80 in Idaho for a gallon of gas. Eighty-four cents in Idaho and Washington -- or 96 cents in Oregon -- per gasoline gallon equivalent is how much the US Department of Energy figures it costs to recharge an electric car in each state.

The agency's assistant secretary David Danielson announced an online cost comparison calculator Tuesday for what he calls the "eGallon."

Read more
electric vehicles
12:01 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Nissan electric car sales booming in Washington state

In this photo taken May 26, 2011, show a Nissan Leaf charging in Portland, Ore.

The automaker Nissan says sales of its fully-electric Leaf compact surpassed all other Nissan models at dealers in the Seattle and Portland areas this spring. The announcement Wednesday runs counter to the prevailing wisdom that adoption of plug-in cars has been sluggish.

At Nissan USA headquarters, director of electric vehicle marketing and sales Erik Gottfried says he's scrambling to ship enough Leafs to meet demand in the Pacific Northwest. The car maker juiced its plug-in sales by slashing the sticker price and offering low-cost leases. Gottfried says that was made possible by opening a domestic production line in Tennessee.

Read more
Transportation alternatives
5:50 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

AAA's roadside service goes electric

Seattle/Bellevue is getting one of AAA's new Electric Vehicle Charging trucks.
Bellamy Pailthorp Photo KPLU News

Driving an all-electric vehicle just got a bit more mainstream.

The AAA Auto Club of Washington has launched a new emergency roadside service for electric cars. It now has a truck with a generator on board that can rescue drivers in the greater Seattle area if they’ve run out of charge.

Read more
Consumer news
2:22 pm
Tue November 1, 2011

Ford unveiling all-new Focus electric car in Seattle

Ford's new Focus all-electric car.
Courtesy of Ford

Seattle's Century Link Field is again the location for the unveiling of a new all-electric car. 

The Nissan Leaf debuted here nearly a year ago. Tomorrow morning there will be a demonstration of the plug-in technology at the charging stations near the stadium – to mark the opening of order banks for owning the new Ford electric vehicle. 

Read more
Environment
5:35 pm
Thu September 22, 2011

First responders get electric vehicle training

SALEM, Ore. - A car wreck that involves an electric vehicle or a hybrid can pose grave risks to emergency personnel. A group of first responders in Oregon got a training session Thursday on how to handle a high wattage accident.

It's no surprise that an electric car might have more electricity pulsating through it than a regular car. So, how much power does it take?

Matt Paiss of the National Fire Protection Association says an electric car can pack quite the punch.

Read more
Environment
10:35 am
Tue September 13, 2011

Electric vehicles could help store NW wind power

... even the U.S. Army is doing it.
U.S. Army Flickr

RICHLAND, Wash. – As the Pacific Northwest begins to integrate more renewable energy, grid operators sometimes have trouble predicting the variability that comes with it. Researchers have found a way to use electric vehicles to help balance wind power’s inconsistency.

Read more
Environment
11:24 am
Tue September 6, 2011

Electric vehicles becoming more mainstream

With these new all-electric plug-in Nissan Leaf hatchbacks added to its fleet, King County "raises the bar" for van pool programs, says Executive Dow Constantine. Children's Hospital installed the first 4 of 20 at their campus in Seattle.
Photo courtesy Children's Hospital

It’s been eight months since Nissan made its first delivery of its all-electric Leaf car to a customer in the pacific Northwest.

Now, driving an all-electric vehicle is well on its way to becoming mainstream reality. A pilot program is installing thousands of electric car charging stations in the Puget Sound region and making them more available to regular folks.

Read more
Electric Vehicle Tax
9:20 am
Thu August 25, 2011

Oregon governor continues push for electrical vehicle tax

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber addresses the Oregon Transportation Commission.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber has not given up on the idea of a mileage tax paid by electric vehicle owners. The tax is meant to offset the lack of gas taxes paid by people who drive electric cars.

Read more
Environment
2:15 pm
Wed February 23, 2011

Electric car study volunteers get home charging stations

A Nissan Leaf
Tom Banse N3

Starting this week, the first of roughly 900 electric car owners in the Northwest will each have a free charging station built into their garages. The deal comes with a catch though.

Read more
Nissan Leaf arrives in the Northwest
4:07 pm
Fri December 17, 2010

First Nissan electric car delivered in Pacific Northwest

Nissan Leaf
Nissanusa.com

The debating and waiting can now take a back seat.  Here comes the real world test whether Northwest drivers will embrace electric vehicles.  Carmaker Nissan has made the first customer delivery in the region of its fully-electric Nissan Leaf model.

Read more