Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative unveiled its first of three planned electric vehicle charging stations on Feb. 27 in Burns. The charging station is located behind the Harney County Chamber of Commerce off North Broadway Avenue in downtown Burns. OTEC plans to install two more EV charging stations this year, one in Baker City and one in John Day.
“Our region is an ideal place to own an EV as more than 94% of our power we buy from BPA is carbon-free, 84.5% of which is hydroelectric,” said Charlie Tracy, OTEC’s director of engineering, in a press release. “When you drive an EV, you are trading fossil fuels like gas and diesel with energy coming from clean energy mix while saving money.”
The cost of installing the charging stations comes from Oregon’s Clean Fuels program. They will have no effect on OTEC’s member-owners’ power rates.
EV drivers can now stop and charge their vehicle in Burns and are charged nominal rates per kilowatt hour. Drivers are encouraged to walk around Burns while their vehicle charges, which OTEC hopes will provide a boost to the local economy.
OTEC is committed to continue being a steward of the environment. For more information about electric vehicles, visit otec.coop/electric-vehicles-evs. The website includes information on the benefits of EVs, how much can be saved by driving an EV compared to a gas vehicle and what kind of rebates and tax credits are available from the state and federal government.
OTEC is also offering member-owners rebates if they purchase home-charging units for EVs, which are just as easy to install as a typical washer or dryer.