{span}Electric vehicle chargers are popping up all over Wallowa County like this one in front of the Doug McDaniels Stewardship Center in Enterprise.{/span}

ENTERPRISE — Electric vehicle chargers are popping up around Wallowa County making it easier to own a zero-emission, low-energy and low-cost car in rural Eastern Oregon.

Matt King, Renewable Energy Program Manager at Community Solutions, Inc., said new electric vehicle chargers were paid for through grants and most are available to the public.

Pacific Power grants for electric vehicle projects are to nonresidential customers, like Wallowa Resources and its subsidiary, Community Solutions. In Oregon funding awards can cover up to 100% of the eligible costs of studying, planning, promoting or deploying electric transportation technology and projects.

“Wallowa Resources/CSI managed the electric vehicle grant that funded 70% of the cost of those chargers,” King said.

Chargers funded, in part, by Pacific Power are at Mountain View Motel and RV Park, Five Peaks RV Park, the Bronze Antler Bed and Breakfast in Joseph, Wallowa Lake State Park and Park by the River in the Wallowa Lake village and Wallowa Resources and Enterprise Electric in Enterprise.

Forth Mobility Fund of Portland funded workplace chargers at Moonshine Glass and Wallowa County Fairgrounds Cloverleaf Hall. The fund’s philanthropic mission is to demonstrate how electric vehicles and other smart transportation choices can improve environmental quality and strengthen the economy.

King said the city of Joseph is considering installing a charger at the city lot on the Imnaha Highway.

“I think we now have more chargers than electric vehicles in the county,” King said.

Electric-vehicle chargers benefit visitors, as well, who may travel hundreds of miles and want the security of a map of available outlets.

“We can tell people, ‘Come visit Wallowa County with your electric car — we are open for business,’ “ King said. “While your car charges at Enterprise Electric, you can have a beer at Terminal Gravity.”

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