Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Let it snow! and an update on car charging stations

I'm a snow lover, so I was happy to see news from the Bend Bulletin that the Mt. Bachelor ski area recorded the earliest 100-inch snow base in more than a decade during the holiday break. Area businesses are likely to be happy with the weather too. A post-holiday survey conducted by the Central Oregon Visitors Association showed that bookings increased by as much as 15 percent for many of the region's motels and other lodging establishments outside Bend.

A second story from the Portland Business Journal provides an update from an article we originally picked up in late October. The Cleveland-based Eaton Corp. has selected its 85-person plant in Wilsonville to lead the roll out of new quick-charging stations for electric cars. The Wilsonville location was chosen thanks largely to Oregon's status as an early hub for electric cars. Wilsonville plant manager Boyd Westover noted that "if demand is huge" a possibility exists for new hiring at the plant. The United States is expected to have more than 48,000 charging stations for electric vehicles in 2011, and the figure is expected to reach 115,000 in 2012.

Eaton has already forged a partnership with Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. and electronics retailer Best Buy Co. Eaton will provide "level two" home vehicle chargers to Mitsubishi dealerships for sale alongside the automaker's electric vehicles planned to hit the market next fall. Best Buy will provide site analysis and installation services for the charging units.

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