Electric Vehicle Industry Looks For New Ways To Pay For Charging Stations

Apr 23, 2014

The electric vehicle industry is looking for new ways to pay for public charging stations as federal stimulus money runs out. That was one of many issues addressed at the Future Energy Conference in Portland Tuesday.

Federal money has paid for more than 400 charging stations in Oregon.
Credit Portland General Electric

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act paid for 20,000 charging stations to be installed nationwide.

But that money has been spent, and there are still many places without charging stations.

Jeff Allen is the executive director of Drive Oregon. It's an industry group devoted to expanding electric vehicle use. Allen says federal money paid for more than 400 charging stations in Oregon.

Allen: "It's been really key to have federal funding support to have that in place, and it really raises the question of how do we support the next round of infrastructure as the cars continue to expand?"

Allen says the industry is testing out a number of possibilities.

One idea: electric utilities could step up and pay for more public charging stations. Or private companies could design charging stations that make money not just by selling electricity but by generating their own solar power, displaying advertisements on billboards, or doubling as parking lot payment stations.

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