Quick charge station in Portland, OR - Click above to watch video after the jump

Okay, despite the argument that there may not be a need for public chargers, we can't help but be giddy to announce that the U.S. finally has its first quick-charge station. The installation is now complete at the parking garage of the World Trade Center building in downtown Portland, OR, and the charger is capable of boosting most electric vehicle batteries from zero to 80 percent charge in just 20 to 30 minutes.

The grand opening event was led by Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski, who is seen in the video after the jump cautiously attaching the charging cable to the Nissan Leaf. As Engadget reports, use of the quick-charge station is free of charge, but entry into the public parking garage will set you back three dollars. (Here's why.)

Follow the jump to read more about the nation's first public quick-charge station and don't forget to watch the Nissan Leaf as it inches its way in for an electron fill up. Hat tip to Raymond!

[Source: Portland General Electric, Engadget]



PRESS RELEASE

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. - Portland General Electric (NYSE: POR), Oregon's largest utility, and NEC Corporation (NEC; TSE: 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.

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.