Opportunity to Provide Feedback on Electric Vehicle Charging Station Siting Criteria

News Article
PBOT logo with words "electric vehicles" and a lightning bolt underneath
The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is updating an Administrative Rule that will establish siting and clearance criteria for electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in the public right-of-way.
PBOT logo with words "electric vehicles" and a lightning bolt underneath

The Public Comment period is open from Wednesday, October 4th to Friday, November 3rd

This Administrative Rule update adds ‘Criteria for Electric Vehicle Charging Stations’ to provide clarity on the location and siting requirements that must be met for EV charging companies to obtain a permit to install an electric vehicle (EV) charging station in the right-of-way. These requirements include, but are not limited to, location criteria, clearance requirements, accessibility requirements, and interactions with other infrastructure.   

Additional information regarding the administrative rule updates and public hearing can be found here: https://www.portland.gov/transportation/permitting/updates-transportation-code-and-admin-rules. This webpage can also be found on the Portland.gov website by searching “Updates to TRN-10.19 Utility Permits in the Right-of-Way.” 

PBOT will be accepting public comments for this Tier II update until 5:00pm on November 5, 2023. Any written comments may be submitted to pbotpolicycomments@portlandoregon.gov. All comments received will be reviewed by PBOT staff. 

A virtual, web-based public hearing will be held on November 13, 2023 from 3:00-5:00 PM. This public hearing is by request only. PBOT will cancel the hearing if it receives no requests 5 business days prior to the hearing date. Requests may be sent to pbotpolicycomments@portlandoregon.gov. Please see the above webpage for more information and any updates. 

What else should I know about the project before providing feedback? 

The Electric Vehicle Charging in the Public Right-of-Way project aims to reduce barriers to EV adoption by creating a convenient, reliable, and affordable public charging network for light-duty EVs. You can learn more about the project on our website.  

A major limitation to EV adoption in underserved communities has been the cost of vehicles; however state and federal rebates, tax credits, and other financial incentive are helping lower that upfront cost. Now access to, and affordability of charging have emerged as key obstacles to EV ownership.  

While some Portlanders can make the switch to an EV and easily charge at home, many Portlanders lack access to home charging because they live in a home without a garage or driveway or are renters and must rely on their landlords to make the necessary infrastructure upgrade. 

To date, publicly accessible EV chargers in Portland have been largely concentrated around downtown and a few additional commercial centers, leaving many neighborhoods, especially those in the fringes of the city, without convenient access to EV charging.  

In Portland, rising rents and home values meant that many low-income and communities of color have been pushed out to less central areas of the city where vehicle ownership is often necessary due to a lack of convenient, safe and efficient alternatives, such as rapid transit and dedicated bicycle facilities. Increasing EV adoption in underserved communities where car ownership is likely to remain necessary is crucial to achieving the City’s climate action and racial justice goals. 

Map shows designated centers in Portland color coded to show density of public charging stations. Generally, downtown is green signifying sufficient public charger availability and Centers are yellow (meaning they have 1-5 public chargers) or red (meaning they have 0 public chargers) as you move farther to the fringes of the city.

Centers in green have 5+ publicly accessible EV chargers. Centers in yellow have 1-5 public EV chargers. Centers in red have zero public EV chargers. The charger locations are based on data from the US Department of Energy from January 2023

Related Electric Vehicle News 

Oregon Electric Vehicle Association Test Drive & Information Expo Event 

Join the Oregon Electric Vehicle Association and PBOT staff at the 2023 Electric Vehicle Test Drive and Information Expo on Sunday, October 8th! At this free event you can test drive 25+ different EV models, take a ride in an original 1914 Detroit Electric car, see presentations on topics including Citywide EV Policy from PBOT staff, and talk to EV owners about their real-life experiences.  

 The event will run from 10 am to 4 pm on Sunday, October 8th at the Tesla Portland – S Macadam Ave Dealership at 4330 S Macadam Ave, Portland, OR 97239.  

New interactive map to identify demand for public charging stations across the City will launch soon 

PBOT was recently awarded an approximately $3.5 million grant from the US Department of Energy to conduct public education and engagement, install 50 pole-mounted L2 EV chargers, analyze outcomes, and create a toolkit to share learnings with other cities. The project funded by this grant will be completed in partnership with local utilities Portland General Electric and Pacific Power, among other local partners. 

Early in the winter, be on the lookout for our interactive map that will allow you to place a pin on the map where you’d like to see an EV charger installed! 

Apply to ODOT’s Community Charging Rebates Program  

The Community Charging Rebates Program will invest up to $7 million to support the installation of Level 2 charging stations at strategic locations in communities across Oregon, particularly public parking sites and multi-family housing. This program will reimburse up to 75% of eligible public and private investments through rebates of up to $4,250 - $5,500 per Level 2 charging port.  

This program is designed to center equity and 70% of the funds are reserved for projects in disadvantaged and rural communities. The application period for this year’s round of funding closes on Friday, October 13th at 5:00pm PDT or once funds are fully allocated and only $193,250 remains. ODOT encourages applicants with projects in disadvantaged and rural communities to apply as soon as possible before funding runs out.  

Oregon Department of Energy Electric Vehicle Report shows EV goals are within reach 

The 2023 Biennial Zero Emission Vehicle Report shows that Oregon has made significant progress toward its transportation electrification goals thanks to financial incentives for EV buyers, a growing market of new and used EV models, and an expanding charging network. In the first quarter of 2023, EV sales exceeded 16 percent of all new vehicle sales – making Oregon second only to California in percentage of EV sales. Nearly 70,000 total EVs are registered on Oregon roads, up from just 38,000 in 2021. Additionally, more medium- and heavy-duty EVs are joining Oregon fleets, especially transit buses, school buses, and delivery vans.