PORTLAND, OR - Ford Motor Co. and Portland General Electric announced a collaboration to help prepare the city of Portland and the Pacific Northwest for the operation of electric vehicles.   

Ford and PGE will work together to share information on charging needs and requirements to ensure the electrical grid can support the necessary demand for electric vehicles. They will also partner to educate consumers about electric vehicles. 

Over the next two years, Ford will introduce the Transit Connect Electric small commercial van, the Ford Focus Electric passenger car, two next-generation lithium-ion battery hybrids (2012) and a plug-in hybrid (2012). 

"Ford has an aggressive plan to bring five new electrified vehicles to market over the next two years, including the Transit Connect Electric later this year and the Focus battery electric in 2011," said Mike Tinskey, manager of vehicle electrification and infrastructure for Ford Motor Co. "To support the rollout and acceptance of these vehicles, it is important to work with local utilities to make sure the necessary infrastructure and grid capability are ready." 

Ford and PGE have also agreed to work together with state and local governments to support charging station permitting, electric vehicle incentives, and future legislation or regulations. Vehicle incentives and an easy charging station permitting process are considered to be two key elements to electric vehicle acceptance in Portland and across the country. 

"The idea of widespread use of electric vehicles in an urban setting is becoming a reality, and we want Oregon to be well-positioned to take advantage of this new technology and the environmental benefits these automobiles will bring," said Jim Piro, president and CEO of PGE. "By working with Ford, PGE can better understand how these vehicles will interact with our electrical system and how we can best support our customers with the charging service they need to keep their electric cars rolling." 

PGE is partnering with state and local government, higher education, the automobile industry, and businesses to expand the electric vehicle infrastructure in Oregon. In early August, PGE opened the nation's first quick-charge station at its World Trade Center headquarters, which complements the network of more than 20 charging stations now up and running across PGE's operating areas. 

Ford will draw upon PGE's partnership with Portland State University to further study urban mobility and the integration of energy and sustainable design.

The partnership with PGE was the first one announced during Ford's "Charging into the Future Tour."  The 14-city tour, which kicked off at Portland State University in Oregon, promotes Ford's electric vehicle strategy and educates consumers about what to expect from electrified automobiles and what is needed from the public and private sectors to support this new technology.