Can we replace ‘Oregon’ in this story with ‘Michigan’?

If we were to ask you which city has the most electric-vehicle chargers per capita, would Portland, Oregon jump to mind?

And it looks like they’re only going to expand their lead, thanks to the public-private partnership recently given a boost by Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber. A few days ago, Kitzhaber formalized Oregon’s pro-electric vehicle efforts by signing a memo pledging the state’s support for the “Energizing Oregon” coalition that’s coordinating the state’s EV efforts, according to a story on the Sustainable Business Oregon site.

In the story, state and regional elected leaders said they want Oregon to remain one of the country’s top ten markets for EV sales and charger installations, in part by coordinating efforts of the state’s Department of Transportation and regional groups that back alternative transportation modes.

In what could be a model for Michigan, officials say Oregon taxpayers’ costs for the programs will be minimal, with much of the backing provided by grants and the private sector.

“Over the coming year, we will work closely together and focus particular energy on creating more opportunities for Oregonians to experience electric vehicles,” one official said. “We’ll encourage employers to provide charging facilities for their employees and help more businesses and fleets add electric vehicles to their mix by developing creative financing strategies to overcome upfront cost barriers.”

So what’s holding us back from adopting similar strategies here in Michigan? We have a lot more to gain from the success of the electric vehicle industry.