Game Changer: First public quick-charge station for EVs installed in Portland

Takasago's Rapid Charging unit for electric vehicles can restore 80% power in 20-30 minutes

The day will soon come when you are driving your Nissan Leaf or other electric vehicle, running low on juice and need to power up stat. You’re no where near your home, have a meeting in less than an hour and running on a 5% charge. Your standard recharging station will take at least 4 hours to get anything on the meter, until now.

A Takasago Rapid Charging Station has been awarded public use certification, what this means is they can now be installed anywhere they are needed. The first one has been dropped in at the World Trade Center, Portland, Oregon. The quick-charge station will top up an electric vehicle’s battery to 80% capacity in around 20-30 minutes. That’s a big boost for lithium-ion battery packs which traditionally take 4-8 hours of charging, typically an overnight thing. This station outputs 50kw (50-500V, 0-125A), supports power inputs of AC 200V±30V and is considered to be a “level 2” charging station. Level 1s are the overnighters.

Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski plugs in the all-electric Nissan LEAF to the nation's first publicly available quick-charge station at Portland General Electric headquarters in Portland, Oregon. (Photo: Business Wire)

“With the addition of the Takasago Rapid Charging Station to the growing network of EV charging stations in Oregon, we are able to further our research on how this new technology will interact with our electrical system and support our EV-driving customers.” said Portland General Electric’s president and CEO Jim Piro.

Now that rapid charging stations are available to the public, I don’t see why any automobile manufacturers should hold back on production; so long as our grids can keep up with it. “This is a big milestone for the electric vehicle and a big tipping point for the automobile industry” added Piro.


Portland General Electric Opens North America’s First Public-Use Quick-Charge Station for Electric Vehicles in Collaboration with NEC

Electric Vehicles Can Charge up in 20 to 30 Minutes
PORTLAND, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Portland General Electric (NYSE:POR), Oregon’s largest utility, and NEC Corporation (NEC) (TOKYO:6701), a leading network, communications and information technology company, announced today they have opened North America’s first public-use, quick-charge station for electric vehicles.
“Partnering with NEC to bring the nation’s first publicly available, quick-charge station to Oregon further solidifies PGE’s commitment to developing the infrastructure needed to support electric vehicles now coming to the U.S. market”

The station was awarded public-use certification by the City of Portland following the successful installation and testing of the station manufactured by Takasago Ltd., a subsidiary of NEC, at the PGE headquarters in the Two World Trade Center parking garage, 121 SW Salmon St, Portland, Ore. The Takasago Rapid Charging Station is specialized for recharging electric vehicles with lithium-ion batteries and requires only 20 to 30 minutes to recharge a battery to 80 percent of full strength.

PGE and NEC officially opened the quick-charge station today with Governor Ted Kulongoski, who charged up an all-electric Nissan LEAF, during a two-day LEAF test drive event at PGE. Portland and the state of Oregon have been designated as top-tier launch markets for the Nissan LEAF when it goes on sale in the United States in December.

“Quick-charging stations are an exciting advancement in our effort to bring electric vehicles to Oregon,” said Gov. Kulongoski. “By making charging convenient and available for public use, we are telling car manufacturers that Oregon is ready for the next generation of electric vehicles — and we want our state to be a leader in introducing these cars to the rest of the country.”
“Partnering with NEC to bring the nation’s first publicly available, quick-charge station to Oregon further solidifies PGE’s commitment to developing the infrastructure needed to support electric vehicles now coming to the U.S. market,” said Jim Piro, president and CEO, PGE.

“With the addition of the Takasago Rapid Charging Station to the growing network of EV charging stations in Oregon, we are able to further our research on how this new technology will interact with our electrical system and support our EV-driving customers,” Piro added.

“This project reflects NEC’s ongoing commitment to the development of new infrastructure that utilizes renewable resources. As a supplier of electric vehicle batteries, our introduction of the rapid electric vehicle charging station is a natural stage in the evolution of NEC’s environmentally friendly solutions,” said Hideki Niwaya, general manager, Public Utility Solutions Division, NEC. “Looking forward, NEC aims to continue developing mission critical solutions, including information and communications technologies (ICT) services and smart grids that represent the latest in technological innovation.”
The Takasago Rapid Charging Station complies with the “CHAdeMO,” a global EV charging standard developed in Japan. The station provides power output of 50kw (50-500V, 0-125A) and supports power input of AC200V±30V.

PGE’s alliance partner, Portland State University, and the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium will document the acquisition, installation, certification, and testing procedures for this quick charger and release its findings in September.


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