I went to Pioneer Courthouse Square Saturday morning to check out EV Awareness Day, held by the Oregon Electric Vehicle Association. There were about a dozen cars and trucks there, from a squared-off Citicar from the early 1970s to a Prius converted to plug-in hybrid technology.
I overheard a woman tell her husband, “He’ll let me take a picture in it!” She led him away, so I followed. She was giddy at the idea of sitting in the driver’s seat of a little, green Fiat 500 that had been converted to run on DC power. They took pictures with the door open, with the door closed, with her leaning out, with her holding the steering wheel … she was really excited.
Shorepower was there, too. These are the guys making the charging stations that Portland General Electric will start installing around town soon. They had a charger/meter on display, which they explained to all comers, including a woman who works for the nearby city of Gresham who wanted to know how to get them in the budget and on the streets.
Even at 11 am on a Saturday morning after a late-night Jazz Fest on the waterfront, there were quite a few people checking out the cars from every angle and talking to their owners. Spectators ranged from guys in shorts and tucked-in polo shirts who crouched on the bricks to better see under the cars to skate punks with facial tattoos asking questions of the engineers who converted their Porsches 911s and Honda Insights to all-electric power.