Portland General Electric this week announced $2.3 million in funding for electric vehicle adoption and education projects benefitting area organizations through the PGE Drive Change Fund.
Funded through the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s Clean Fuels Program, 12 organizations are being awarded grants to support purchasing electric vehicles and bikes, EV charging infrastructure, and education programs. Since its inception in 2019, the Drive Change Fund has awarded 28 projects with more than $4.7 million, including 93 new electric vehicles and 86 chargers, said PGE.
Dave Robertson, Vice President for Public Policy at PGE, said, “One step we’re taking to increase electric transportation access for everyone in our community is making grants to area non-profits through the Drive Change Fund. These grants support electric vehicle and bike adoption, charging infrastructure and education. Thanks to PGE customers who have earned Oregon Clean Fuels Program credits by charging their EVs at home, we have been able to help 28 organizations who serve our community go electric and drive cleaner and greener in the years ahead.”
Suzanne Washington, CEO of Meals on Wheels, which received a Drive Change Fund award for EVs and charging infrastructure last year, said, “We are extremely grateful to PGE for providing us with a Driving Change Fund Grant. The funding allowed us to not only purchase two electric vehicles for our Meals 4 Kids program but install three electric vehicle charging stations in our Central Office parking lot. Employees and volunteers who own electric vehicles can charge while they work. And, we have been able to expand the reach of our Meals 4 Kids program in a green way, which helps maintain our standing as one of 100 Best Green Workplace in Oregon.”
This year’s projects include:
African American Alliance for Home Ownership, Portland – $100,084
African American Alliance for Homeownership (AAAH) provides culturally relevant home ownership services to underserved communities in the Portland metro area, homebuyer and credit counseling, homebuyer education classes, financial capabilities assessments and foreclosure prevention services. AAAH recently launched Power to the People, an education and savings incentive program to help homeowners access solar, energy efficiency, and electric vehicles. Income-qualified participants will be able to save for qualified projects through Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) that will provide 3:1 matching for savings. A Sustainable Future Academy will train constituents on various energy topics, energy equity, and equip them to train others. AAAH will use the award to match funds for IDAs and to purchase a Hyundai Kona electric vehicle. The EV will be used for program travel to replace use of staff personal vehicles, including for energy audits/assessments, and as a demonstration vehicle for EV education at events and workshops. The vehicle will also be rented on Getaround, a peer-to-peer car-sharing platform, and revenue generated will go back into the Power to the People program.
Brown Hope, Portland $42,178
Brown Hope is a racial justice organization based in SE Portland. Founded in 2018, the organization’s mission is to create connection with Black, Brown, and Indigenous leaders through the heart, mind, and voice to inspire our collective healing. Brown Hope organizes several initiatives focused on economic and community resilience, raising $2.5 million for Black Portlanders through the Black Resilience Fund and leveraging almost $750,000 in federal Cares Act funds to provide mental health services, rent assistance, equitable digital access, and food relief to Portlanders grappling with the dual storms of COVID-19 and systemic racism. Brown Hope will use the funding to purchase a 2020 Kia Niro EV and a Clipper Creek HCS-40 Level 2 charger to transport and deliver food and services in support of their programs.
City of Gresham, Gresham $279,825
The City of Gresham is in the process of establishing a Climate Action Plan and as part of that plan is focused on expanded EV ownership both for the City and its population of 110,000. The City will use this funding to expand their EV fleet and both private and public charging infrastructure, including 13 Chargepoint dual port chargers (six for City fleet use, six for the public, and one for both) and two new 2020 Nissan Leaf EVs to expand their fleet total to five.
City of West Linn, West Linn $38,175
The City of West Linn currently has a lack of EV charging infrastructure. There are no public charging stations, either owned by the City or other parties. The City has begun to acquire electric vehicles for their fleet, including two all-electric and two plug-in hybrid vehicles for its fleet and plans to transition the entire fleet to electric in the coming years; however it needs dedicated charging infrastructure. The City will use this funding to install one public Juicebox Level 2 charging port at City Hall, which will serve nearby multifamily housing as well as the public visiting the nearby commercial/retail areas. The City is also installing Three Juicebox Level 2 chargers in the fleet garage at City Hall in order to provide charging access to City owned electric vehicles.
Clackamas Community College, Oregon City $300,000
Clackamas Community College (CCC) has been providing education and training opportunities for students in the Portland/Oregon City region for over 50 years. The Automotive Service Technology program, partnering with the Campus Services division, will use this funding to purchase specialized training equipment, vehicles, and charging infrastructure to create EV-specific curriculum and training courses for ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certification opportunities for students, and public charging infrastructure for students, faculty, and the surrounding community. CCC intends to will purchase a Switch Electric Vehicle Kit, a CarTrain “Hybrid and All Electric Vehicle Technology Trainer”, a CarTrain “Diagnosis and Maintenance of a High Voltage Battery”, CarTrain accessories and charging stations, 2 Dell laptops for connecting to the trainers, a 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV and a 2020 Hyundai Ioniq EV (or similar vehicles), and 3 Blink dual-port IQ200 Level 2 chargers.
Clackamas Service Center, Portland $154,325
Clackamas Service Center (CSC) provides critical services to community members experiencing poverty and hunger, to help these individuals meet their basic needs and connect with support services. At their location they operate a free “shopping-style” food pantry and offer hot meals. During COVID they have adjusted to a delivery model, providing food and supply boxes to over 850 households. Given the success and popularity of the model, and the increased access it provides, they now plan to implement the delivery service long term. The CSC will use this funding to support that service: purchasing 2 Hyundai Kona EVs and one Kira Niro EV and installing 4 Clipper Creek Level 2 chargers to support their fleet use and to provide public charging to nearby residents and others.
Columbia-Willamette Clean Cities Coalition, Tualatin; City of Roses Disposal and Recycling, Portland $675,218
Columbia-Willamette Clean Cities Coalition (CWCCC) was founded in 1994, with a goal of reducing petroleum consumption in the transportation sector through education and outreach. CWCCC is partnering on this project with City of Roses Disposal and Recycling (COR), a Black family-owned materials management company with B-Corp certification, founded in 1996 and currently one of the leading recyclers in Portland. COR’s core values include 90%+ waste recovery, cost effective and environmentally sound operations, customer service, and equity for all. COR is an active and supportive member of their community and has developed a number of novel waste management, repurpose, and recovery processes, and has a goal of 100% fleet electrification. CWCCC and COR will use this funding to purchase a Lion Electric Class 8 Electric rear-loading refuse truck and a BTC Power 50kW DC fast charger and 2 OPconnect Level 2 chargers, as well as accompanying training, education, and demonstration campaigns. COR will use this truck in its daily operations and educate their staff on use and maintenance.
Community Cycling Center, Portland $50,000
The Community Cycling Center (CCC) is an established non-profit organization with two bike shops, education programs, and bike donation program. CCC will use this funding to purchase four e-bicycles that will help expand the reach of programs while also decreasing car travel for internal needs. Initially, the bikes will support a COVID response food pantry delivery by bike program, and in the long term will support educational and community events and outreach and general internal trips between the shops and warehouses. CCC will also use this funding to train their mechanics to maintain the e-bikes, which would also expand their capacity to provide e-bike service to customers.
Family Building Blocks, Woodburn $200,000
Family Building Blocks (FBB) is a relief nursery with multiple locations providing care to families in need, to support children safely living with the families, and to avoid foster care, abuse, and neglect. FBB has operated for over 23 years, with a mission to keep families together, and 99% of children enrolled in their program remain safely living with their families. This project would add reliable transportation to the organization and to the children in their Therapeutic Early Childhood Classroom. FBB will use this funding to purchase a 2019 EVStar Max 19-passenger shuttle and a Clipper Creek HCS series Level 2 charger, to expand their services and decrease barriers to access as they launch their Woodburn Satellite Nursery serving the rural population of North Marion County.
NARA NW, Portland $309,201
Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest (NARA NW) joins Oregon’s path toward a decarbonized, clean energy future. For the past 50 years, NARA NW has committed and continues to commit to providing education, primary health care, mental health services, and substance abuse treatment culturally appropriate to American Indians, Alaska Natives, and other underserved communities. The PGE DC award will purchase Five EVs and Five Charging Units. The EVs will transport clients to all of NARA’s ten service locations and other social service providers at no cost, eliminating transportation barriers for Tribal and Communities of Color seeking primary health care, dental services, behavioral health, residential treatment, and self-sufficiency efforts. The education and outreach campaign will enhance electrical vehicle awareness and support Oregon’s path toward a decarbonized, clean energy future and it’s Clean Fuels Program.
Portland Bureau of Transportation, Portland $130,000
The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) launched BIKETOWN in 2016, with 1,000 bikes. In September 2020, PBOT partnered with the title sponsor Nike and contractor Lyft to expand the service area to serve parts of East Portland. BIKETOWN also grew and upgraded its fleet to 1,500 new electric pedal-assist e-bikes. BIKETOWN will grow to 3,000 e-bikes with a larger service area by 2024. BIKETOWN has two equity programs: Adaptive BIKETOWN provides bicycle access for people with disabilities; and BIKETOWN for All provides discounted memberships and fares for people living on low incomes. PBOT will use the PGE Drive Change grant to further reduce financial barriers, providing free ride credits for an average year of BIKETOWN use. The Drive Change funds will also provide discounts for young riders — BIKETOWN recently lowered the minimum rider age to 16 to introduce more teens to the benefits of bike sharing.
Portland State University, Portland $36,000
The Portland State University (PSU) Bike Hub is a full-service retail bike shop on campus, opened in 2010. The shop offers long term bike rental through its “Vike Bike” program, a fleet of over 140 bikes offered at low cost (or no cost based on need). The program’s existing fleet was assembled by collecting and refurbishing abandoned bikes on campus and made available to students for long-term rentals. PSU will use this funding to purchase 25 Batch Bicycles e-bikes, to supplement the rental fleet and provide greater access to those living further from campus or those with physical barriers to cycling, and serve as a pilot program toward the eventual full replacement of the rental fleet with e-bikes.