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Electric Vehicles – Plug and play….

City Discusses Next Steps for EVs

In an effort to influence and support the use and advancement of electric vehicles (EVs) in the City of Newport, Council has begun considering the various options open to the city.

One area of support is through the installation of electric vehicle chargers for public use. As the number of electric vehicles increase, corresponding opportunities for expansion increase.

The city may play a sustainable role by providing financial support to organizations who would provide charging stations. This could be done through support from the Urban Renewal District to incentivize national companies such as ChargePoint to install chargers at specific locations. In addition, the city could incentivize private property owners to install chargers such as the Oregon Coast Aquarium utilizing Urban Renewal Agency funds.

Step No. 1: The city administration will develop locations within the Urban Renewal Districts where Urban Renewal funds could help incentivize charging stations from national companies and/or local businesses for charging stations located in the Urban Renewal boundaries. City-owned locations where commercial charging stations could be located, include the Ernest Bloch Wayside and the Angle Street parking lot as examples.

The second area in which the city can influence electric vehicle charging opportunities is through its code. The city can adopt the optional statewide code provisions, which require new developments of certain sizes to install conduit for future electric vehicle charging purposes.

Step No. 2: Council initiate a code amendment requiring certain development projects to install electric conduit capable of supporting future electric vehicle charging locations as part of that development.

The third area in which the city could encourage and support electric vehicles is through the development of a policy impacting the city organization. The city could develop a policy allowing employees to recharge their electric vehicles at city work locations. The city could follow the Oregon Department of Administrative Services guidelines, which provide for a payroll deduction for those employees wishing to utilize this service. As part of this effort, the city would need to identify and prioritize work locations where electrical vehicle infrastructure should be located for those employees wishing to take advantage of this service.

Further, in the policy area, the Council could adopt a policy to evaluate any new car purchases, and determine if it is feasible to use an electric vehicle and/or hybrid to meet that need. Overall, the city has a limited number of passenger vehicles that are utilized by the city workforce. Most department heads are not provided with city vehicles; they are instead reimbursed for mileage incurred while using their own personal vehicle. The amount of mileage reimbursed would likely not justify the purchase of city vehicles for these purposes. There are several vehicles that would lend themselves to be electric vehicles, such as meter enforcement, pool cars, etc. 

Step No. 3: Develop a policy where employees can charge electric vehicles at worksites, with a monthly payroll deduction established to offset electric use by those employees.

Step No. 4: Require departments to analyze the possibility of utilizing e-vehicles or hybrids for fleet vehicle purchases based on market availability at the time of purchase.

The City Council approved these policy steps at its meeting on November 16, 2020.

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