Forth launched the Community Electric Vehicle (CEV) Project in 2017 as a response to addressing transportation inequities in the Northeast Portland neighborhood of Cully. With limited transit and alternate transportation options, the residents of Cully and employees of Hacienda Community Development Corporation (CDC) were looking for a new way to get around. Working with Hacienda CDC—a Latino CDC in the neighborhood—Forth placed three used Honda Fit EVs at Hacienda CDC’s headquarters where one was available for staff use and two were available as low-cost community car rentals.
Over the course of the project, 66 community rentals were completed and 12 Hacienda CDC employees drove almost 2,000 miles. Although the project encountered challenges relating to insurance, technological barriers, banking, a lack of driver’s licenses, and outreach, every challenge provided a learning opportunity for the project team. Furthermore, the project also had its share of successes and helped both residents and staff get around with a more affordable and cleaner form of transportation. The staff car saved Hacienda CDC over $1,000 in mileage reimbursements and one staff member bought a used electric car after learning more about them through the staff trainings.
At the conclusion of the project, American Honda extended the loan of the vehicles which has allowed Forth to keep two Honda Fit EVs—one for staff use and one for community use—at Hacienda CDC through the end of 2018. Additionally, two more Honda Fit EVs have been placed with Oregon Food Bank through the end of 2018 for their staff to use.
As a mission-driven nonprofit, Forth strives to ensure that every community has access to reliable, affordable, and clean transportation options. Many neighborhoods throughout the country are not dissimilar to Cully and have long been deprived of economic investments, infrastructure investments, and diverse transportation options. Our hope is that this project will inspire and encourage others to address transportation barriers in their own communities.
Download the full project report here. Questions? Contact us to learn more.