PGE Drive Change Fund awards local community organizations $2.25 million in electric transportation grants

Jan. 22, 2020

PORTLAND, Ore. — Today, Portland General Electric Company (NYSE: POR) awarded $2.25 million in PGE Drive Change Fund grants to 16 community-based projects across Oregon that will expand access to electric transportation for Oregonians. These grants are part of PGE’s overall commitment to decarbonization through transportation electrification.

Funded by the sale of Oregon Clean Fuels Program PGE credits, the PGE Drive Change Fund returns the value of the credits to local communities by advancing transportation electrification projects aimed at expanding mobility options and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“Transportation is the largest source of carbon emissions in the state and to reach a carbon-free future, it is critical to expand access to electric vehicles and charging infrastructure,” said John McFarland, PGE’s chief customer officer. “The PGE Drive Change Fund helps support and create an electric transportation system that serves everyone by eliminating up-front cost barriers, helping Oregonians continue on our path toward a decarbonized, clean energy future.”

The 2019 PGE Drive Change Fund awards were given to organizations interested in advancing transportation electrification in Oregon and providing a community benefit. Preferred projects focused on serving vulnerable populations and underserved communities. Visit to learn more about the award requirements.

“Ride Connection is honored to receive funding from the PGE Drive Change Fund,” said Julie Wilcke Pilmer, chief executive officer of Ride Connection. “Our mission is to link accessible, responsive transportation alternatives with individual and community needs. This funding provides an exciting opportunity for us to increase services for our customers, as well as to provide electric transportation benefits to underserved communities. Together with PGE, these funds will help Ride Connection further prevent social isolation, provide connectivity, support economic and environmental stability, and promote the health and well-being of the individuals we serve.”

This program is part of a larger initiative at PGE to invest its Oregon Clean Fuels Program credits in ways that help make electric transportation available to everyone. In addition to the PGE Drive Change Fund, this year PGE will electrify the first four electric school buses in Oregon with charging infrastructure, add three Electric Avenue network charging stations, conduct public outreach to raise awareness about the benefits of EVs, and roll out new residential and business EV charging programs.

This year’s grant recipients include:

  • Ride Connection ($343,000): Five new EVs with charging infrastructure will save overhead and allow a mobility specialist to properly manage the new fleet, allowing expansion of ride services for low- income, elderly individuals and adults with disabilities.

  • Meals on Wheels People ($337,731): An electric, refrigerated cargo van for meal delivery and an EV to support outreach and assessment efforts for new program adopters will help reduce costs for the over 700,000 meals that are delivered annually from their central kitchen for families experiencing food insecurity.

  • Native American Youth and Family Center ($272,359): Five new EVs and the required charging infrastructure will serve students throughout NAYA’s programming and help the center expand to new areas for Native youth facing barriers due to cultural gaps in mainstream institutions.

  • Portland Community College - Sylvania ($196,951): Five used EVs will allow the popular Automotive Service Technology program to teach hands-on learning on service, maintenance and repair for this crucial technology changing the transportation landscape.

  • Novel Interventions in Children’s Healthcare ($183,997): Five EVs and five electric bikes with charging infrastructure will give NICH a broader impact and lower the barrier for Oregon youth and families who need their support.

  • SnowCap Charitable Communities ($140,000): Electrifying a cargo van and installing charging infrastructure will allow volunteers to increase the quantity of local pickups and possibly lead to further range expansion for providing food assistance in Oregon.

  • Oregon Food Bank ($132,450): An EV pilot program, utilizing two electric SUVs, will allow for further distribution of meals and increase nutritional education to the areas they serve.

  • Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center ($123,803): Two EVs will transport more clients to one of the six locations at no cost, eliminating a barrier for the lower-income community of migrant and seasonal farmworkers in Washington and Yamhill counties.

  • Northwest Family Services ($90,194): Two EVs will allow for better services where the clients need it most — at their home, work, school or community center — helping to support a variety of health-related issues for individuals at the lowest socioeconomic level.

  • Senior Advocates for Generational Equity ($90,000): The project will provide transportation options, education, awareness, charging infrastructure and driving experiences for seniors in six community centers in Oregon.

  • ROSE Community Development ($87,580): Three used EVs for car sharing will rotate through multiple affordable housing apartments in ROSE’s portfolio.

  • Northwest Pilot Project ($81,212): With proper EV and charging selection, the project can safely and comfortably transport seniors with no other accessible options.

  • Our House of Portland ($62,938): Two EVs will increase the ability to provide critical services and offer the chance for more one-on-one time between vulnerable clients living with HIV/AIDS and their clinician during transit.

  • Sexual Assault Resource Center ($46,565): A hybrid van will transport groups to clients and move clients to on-site services, helping to eliminate the primary barrier of transportation for survivors of sexual assault.

  • Portland African American Leadership Forum ($40,000): The education and outreach program will create awareness of EV ownership and the environmental and economic issues they are tied to, adding to their goal of helping to build civic participation and leadership to achieve results in the areas of social and climate justice.

  • Kailash Ecovillage ($29,130): A used EV and new charging station will allow for a car-sharing program, eliminating the need for personal vehicles for this multifamily, low-income apartment community that focuses on sustainable practices.

About Portland General Electric Company
Portland General Electric (NYSE: POR) is a fully integrated energy company based in Portland, Oregon, with operations across the state. The company serves approximately 900,000 customers with a service area population of 2 million Oregonians in 51 cities. PGE owns 16 generation plants across Oregon and other Northwestern states and maintains and operates 14 public parks and recreation areas. For over 130 years, PGE has delivered safe, affordable and reliable energy to Oregonians. Together with its customers, PGE has the No. 1 voluntary renewable energy program in the U.S. PGE and its 3,000 employees are working with customers to build a clean energy future. In 2020, PGE, employees, retirees and the PGE Foundation donated $5.6 million and volunteered 18,200 hours with more than 400 nonprofits across Oregon. For more information visit

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Angela Abel