Early in 2009 the Mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom, claimed that San Francisco will be the epicenter of electric vehicle technology. Portland Oregon Mayor, Sam Adams, responded by announcing that his city would be the first to develop the charging infrastructure to support full-scale electric vehicle deployment. With this the battle was on. In a competitive, but friendly race, throughout 2009 these two Mayors volleyed back and forth with their visions for their city's and how they would lead this upcoming electric vehicle race. In a link at the bottom, you can see the dance that played out on Gas 2.0 with articles and videos by the two Mayors.
As politicians, neither Mayor was short on talk, but as an engineer, I respect action and results. So now, over a year later, who has delivered on these promises? Looking at the EV Project website you can see maps of both cities and compare them.
The Portland map shows charging stations scattered all over the city, east-side, west-side and along Interstate 5 covering the city and suburbs north to south.
Looking at San Francisco, the EV Project map only shows the few charging stations in front of City Hall. These are the same stations that Mayor Newsom stood in front of for his initial press event.
Scrolling around The EV Project map, you can see that Portland is clearly far ahead of any other US city in being prepared for the arrival of electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf or the Chevy Volt later this year.