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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 19, 2012 9:42 AM. The previous post in this blog was When the puffballs come. The next post in this blog is Feds say you have constitutional right to record cops. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

The green phantom

We love our readers for many reasons, but especially for the stories they send us. Here's one that dropped in over the transom last night:

So my wife and daughter and I were out at Ikea this afternoon, and we parked in the "family parking" area, where two of the previous handicapped spots have been converted over to EV [electric vehicle] charging hookups. They didn't even bother getting rid of the extra space on either side that handicap spots usually get, so they're taking up like five spots.

So today we noticed that there was a shiny new Nissan Leaf parked in one of the spots. We've always really doubted that anyone is actually driving these things yet, and joked that the dealers just drive them around and park them in public places to make it look like people own them and that the charging spots aren't a total waste of space. I've noticed that whenever they put in a new spot downtown, there's always a parade of shiny new electric vehicles parked in them for the first few weeks, and then never again afterwards.

Anyway, my wife, half-joking, goes over to look at the vehicle and finds it totally clean inside -- the plastic is still on the floor mats. As she's walking away, a big sedan pulls up and drops off a guy in a dealer polo, who gets in the car and drives it away, presumably to plant it somewhere else.

Good stuff, right? Go by EV!

We give that story a 3-P rating: priceless, and perfectly Portland.

Comments (19)

They installed two of those EV charging stations at the Freddy's at Johnson Creek in N. Clackamas several months ago. The spots are near the food entrance, and are probably the best spots in the entire parking lot. I haven't seen a single EV using them...ever.

The Hollywood Fred Meyer has 3-5 spots reserved for electric vehicles -- right up front where the handicapped spots should be.

I'm starting to think the real 1% are electric car owners. By buying a brand new overpriced car, these elites purchase better parking spots and (in California, at least) access to the high speed lanes on freeways.

So, I guess there really are Two Americas ...

So are they offering free electricity at these stations? Maybe I could plug my phone in.

It would be even more Portland if it turned out that the taxpayer was subsidizing the show.

I think they are just charging them up with free electricity before they take them home for the evening. The two features that sell electric vehicles -- one, the electricity is free, not like gas you have to pay for. Two, electric power is completely pollution free.

It would be even more Portland if it turned out that the taxpayer was subsidizing the show.

Taxpayers ARE subsidizing these guys. The dealerships have been "buying" the electric cars to get the taxpayer-subsidized rebates then selling them as "used" cars. Further, these guys appear to be charging their cars at someone else's (in this case Ikea and their customers) expense.

I wouldn't be surprised to discover that some level of government, or the energy trust, subsidizes the installation of charging stations either.

"electric power is completely pollution free."
hahahahahahahahaha
hohohohohohohohoho
snicker....
yeah right....

They're trying to attract those outlying residents who live 49 miles away. Need a booster charge to get back home with all that import booty.

Walmart may be closer...

The entire EV charging program is subsidized. There are at least 3 programs in Oregon. The biggest is run by EcoTality, which received $115 million from USDOE to install chargers all over the country.

There is also the West Coast Green HW project, focusing on "fast-charging" stations in the I-5 corridor. This is run mostly by OR and WA.

The third program also focuses on fast-chargers, using $700,000 in stimulus funds and $2 million in federal transportation funds.

Of course if you buy an EV you also get tax credits.

This is a totally subsidized industry which has no relevance to 99.999% of Oregonians.

Remember, when a politician says something is green, they mean that you need to pay cash for it.

That is all green means anymore; taxpayer funding.

Electric cars at this point in time are basically a fraud.

I've seen the "fuel efficient only" spaces in bestbuy parking lots. Last time was in Medford earlier this year. This of course begs the question, what exactly is fuel efficient?

It is fun to see the EV car folks talk about all the green stuff and pollution free electricity as they promote the destruction of our hydro dams here in Oregon to save the salmon etc.. Just wait until your power rates go through the roof, then those Leafs and hybrids won't be any better than a gas car.

At the Oregon Electric Vehicle Association meeting last week I chatted with a couple guys about the 3 Leafs, all very new and shiny, sitting there. Yes, he said they are all privately owned. One owner said he lives in Hillsboro and commutes to West Linn, about a 60 mile RT. Even in winter (batteries don't like winter either) he does the round trip commute on a single charge. If you really, really want to drive an electric car they are functional now. But if you commute to Salem from North Portland or want to go to Seattle you'll need to find a hybrid or regular old ICE car.

Hey Don, your friends could have bought a customized golf cart for a heck of a lot less money ... oh wait, that is what they did do, but they spent more. Don, for most of us, these electric vehicles are just an expensive toy that we can't afford ... and wouldn't really want if we could afford it.

(Sheesh, Oregon Electric Vehicle Association, really?? Hmmmmm, aka the 1% club??)

I have a neighbor who purchased a red Leaf a few months ago. He had one of the little Zap trucks before. Also, NA, the Oregon EVA is really the modern version of garage monkeys tinkering with cars, only they convert old cars into electric ones. I would guess the mostly blue collar 99%.

The Midland branch of the library system has a few electric charging stations. But if you read the fine print on the signs, you'll see that non-electric vehicles are allowed to park in those spaces for 15 minutes. They're right up front, and they're always empty. Win!

(except now all of you know my secret parking place.)

Oregon Electric Vehicle Association, . . . aka the 1% club??

You really don't have a clue, do you?

I've seen a lot of people driving Leafs (Leaves?) and I don't think they were 1% of anything except for the vehicles on the road.

I don't get all of the hate. It is particularly silly when you consider that all energy is grossly subsidized. Oil seems to have benefited from them right?

Cars in general are subsidized with all sorts of things like roads and other essential infrastructure. I see nothing wrong with it in theory.

We should be focusing on subsidizing things we want more of. Electric Vehicles are a way to keep the versatility of cars in the event the oil supply disappears. The power for EVs can come from green and not green sources but that source can change more easily than internal combustion engines.

The early adopters now are going to make them more affordable when the time comes that we don't have a choice.

The early adopters now are going to make them more affordable when the time comes that we don't have a choice.

Somehow I see CNG or LNG cars becoming more likely, before EVs are the only option. Despite all of the recent efforts to reduce electricity use, our appetite for electricity only goes up, while power generation has merely stayed flat. Electricity availability is only going to go down as coal and nuclear plants go off-line - with no replacement. It would take a wind/solar facility thousands of acres to match a nuclear power plant -- and even at that, it's an inconsistent, intermittent power supply.


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14 Hands, Hot to Trot White 2012
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Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
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Anthony Holden - Big Deal
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Miles run year to date: 220
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Total run in 2013: 257
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In 2004: 204
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