Oregon-made electric car gets 190 mpg for under $20,000


by By JOE SMITH, kgw.com


Posted on November 5, 2009 at 6:27 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Several companies hope to turn Oregon into an auto industry hub of the West, where green and electric vehicles are built and marketed across the globe.

Electric car debut

Oregon now has a new car maker, Arcimoto of Eugene, which unveiled The Pulse, its one and only product to onlookers at Pioneer Courthouse Square on Wednesday.

The Pulse is the first electric car made in Oregon. It gets 190 mpg, equivalent to 50 miles per charge.

Arcimoto CEO Erik Stabl says being first has an advantage with consumers.

"We're going to be moving right away next year in 2010 with 300 units locally produced here in Oregon and going from there, he said.

Many attended The Pulse unveiling who were excited at a glimpse of Oregon's own electric car. Beth Rose of Portland would like to get behind the wheel.

"My normal driving is very, very short distances. It would be a perfect, perfect car for me," she said while staring at the midnight-blue, rocket-shaped, three-wheeler.

Arcimoto founder Mark Frohnmayer hopes to make a positive influence in the electric car revolution.

"If you look at what we're trying to do with the product, it's to solve the transpiration usage pattern that is the vast majority of vehicle trips," said Frohnmayer, who is the son of University of Oregon President and former state attorney general Dave Frohnmayer.

Meanwhile, Oregon lawmakers are courting any and all companies anxious to be a part of the state's electric vehicle movement. Representative Nancy Nathanson of Eugene wants a hybrid vehicle tax credit to be extended to buyers of electric cars.

"I think it's time now to make sure we offer the same kind of credit for consumers of electric vehicles," she said.

So far 10 people have signed up for The Pulse, which will sell for under $20,000.