Oregon roads to fill up for electric cars

Stations charge batteries in minutes

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Pat Davis, who heads the vehicle technologies program for the U.S. Department of Energy, said automakers’ plans for ramping up electric vehicle production puts the nation on track to top President Obama’s goal of 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

“It’s clear that by 2025, to meet the new fuel [efficiency] requirements, that we are going to see more electrification than we have now,” Mr. Davis said. “That is going to take the form of everything from micro-hybrids to full hybridization plug-ins to electric drive. But they will not be the only thing on the road. You will probably see more natural gas vehicles than you have today, and vehicles with downsized engines and lighter vehicles than today.”

Justin Denley and his wife traded in a four-wheel-drive pickup truck and bought a Leaf this year to cut their spending on gasoline. Mr. Denley uses it mostly to commute about four miles to his job as an information technology specialist at a Medford, Ore., credit union, but he recently piled the family into the car for the 125-mile drive to the coast to show it to relatives.

To make what is a three-hour trip in a conventional car, they had to stop overnight at an RV park, where they slept in a tent while the car charged overnight.

Mr. Denley said he is eager for the fast-charging stations to open along Interstate 5 this fall.

“That’s a key thing that has to happen for most people who want to adopt this technology,” he said. “Range anxiety [the fear of getting stranded] is a real thing.

“People want to be able to go farther.”

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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