Oregon is joining with California and six other states to promote electric cars and other vehicles that produce no air emissions.
Governors of the states announced an agreement on Thursday to collectively pursue efforts to promote electric and hydrogen-powered cars. Their strategies will include: building codes to make it easier to construct electric-car charging stations; acquiring zero-emissions vehicles for public fleets; new financial incentives to promote vehicle sales; considering favorable electricity rates for home-charging systems; and developing common standards for roadway signs and charging networks.
The eight state leaders hope to have at least 3.3 million of the vehicles operating on their roadways by 2025.
Despite some bumps in the road, the electric vehicle market is expanding quickly. The cars improve air quality and can slash carbon emissions, although that depends on the fuel source used to charge the batteries.
There are now 16 zero-emissions models on the market, including nine electric vehicles powered by batteries, two that use hydrogen fuel cells, and five plug-in hybrids that run on gasoline or battery power.
There were 52,000 electric cars sold in the U.S. in 2012, and more than 40,000 sold the first half of this year. In Oregon, there are now more than 3,000 electric vehicles.
Oregon has 342 electric-vehicle charging stations open to the public, including 66 fast-charging stations more than any other state.