Wednesday, February 22, 2012
If your electric vehicle is running low on juice, but you still have things to do in downtown Hood River, the City of Hood River will soon have a solution for you.
The city is hopping on the electric vehicle trend by installing two parking spots near downtown with electric vehicle charging stations.
Two spots in the parking lot at Columbia and Seventh, across the street from Hood River Cinemas, will be outfitted with electric vehicle charging stations by AeroVironment Solution Inc. of Monrovia, Calif.
Those wishing to top off their battery will have to do so at a bit of extra cost. In addition to the cost to park in the space, they will also have to pay for the electricity they use in charging the car.
The city and AeroVironment agreed upon an initial 10-year lease for the spots. The lease could go for as long as 30 years if the city agrees to continue after 10 and AeroVironment executes subsequent options in five-year increments.
The city will designate the spots for electric vehicles and will collect 5 percent of the revenue generated from the electricity sales.
City Manager Bob Francis said that signs will direct travelers to the spots, and Mayor Arthur Babitz suggested bringing up the stations with the chamber of commerce to better market them.
One potential obstacle, though, is that the spots will not be designated strictly for electric vehicles. City ordinances would have to be changed to specifically designate the spots for electric vehicles only.
For now, the spots will likely be marked as electric vehicle parking spots, but the city will not have any enforcement measures.
The charging stations will be part of a larger network envisioned by the Oregon Department of Transportation, which could potentially include stations in areas like Cascade Locks, Government Camp and Welches.
According to AeroVironment, as battery chemistries improve, a 25kWh EV battery could be charged 80 percent in under 10 minutes at the charging stations.
"It seems like this is a worthy experiment," Babitz said. "All we are doing is putting forward two parking spots for 10 years."
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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"
Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge