yimby nature ad experiments2

tesla-model-x-electric-vehicle

The Tesla Model X will launch in 2014 with all-wheel drive, no tailpipe emissions and plenty of pop. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Oregon's Electric Highway now has a rest-and-recharge stop on Mount Hood. Does this mean electric vehicles have a future as snow rides?

Mt. Hood Skibowl is partnering with AeroVironment to build an electric vehicle charging station in the Skibowl West parking lot at 3500 feet elevation.

The project will make Skibowl the first resort on Mount Hood and just the second in the U.S. to have an EV charging station.

Hans Wipper, operations manager for Skibowl, says two chargers will be built in the parking lot: a 480-volt quick-charge unit that can fully charge a vehicle in 20 to 30 minutes and a 240-volt trickle-charge unit that takes four to six hours.

"If you're in a hurry you can do the quick charge, and it you've got the time you can just plug into the trickle-charger and go hit the slopes all day," says Wipper.

The chargers are built by Aerovironment, an innovative engineering company headquartered in Monrovia, California that specializes in unmanned aerial vehicles, solar-powered airplanes and electric vehicle infrastructure.

The charging station at Skibowl will connect Mount Hood with the West Coast Electric Highway in Washington and Oregon and add to the 33 stations already up and running in Oregon.

So what do you think? Will anyone use it?

If they do they will be saving money. It turns out that charging an EV in Oregon costs the equivalent of one dollar per gallon. That's a savings of $2.62 cents per gallon on average because of our low electricity gas prices and high gasoline prices.

You don't see a lot of Nissan Leafs on the mountain, but EVs could become more commonplace as drivers get used to the idea. Most electric vehicles on the market are light and low to the ground, but there are several all-wheel drive EVs in development.

The most hyped among the coming generation of AWD EVs is the Tesla Model X, with first deliveries scheduled for 2014. Zero tailpipe emissions, and zero-to-60 miles per hour in five seconds. Whoosh! Test drive that baby and then tell me there's no place on the mountain for electric vehicles.