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Electric Car Enthusiast Praises Portland Power

Posted: Jan. 28th, 2013  |  By Michael Pearse
Charging up
Christopher Onstott

With Savings of nearly $1,500 a month and an environmentally friendly means of transportation to boot, the Portland area's public charging stations may be well worth the praise Dennis Harkema has given as it transforms the otherwise unfeasible vehicle into a cost cutting, tree-hugging dream come true.

When it comes to electric vehicles, Dennis Harkema is a true believer. Harkema lives in Estacada and owns Secret Gardens Plant Services, a company that sells plants to businesses and cares for them throughout Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington. Harkema can drive 200 or more miles a day, and he does it in an all-electric Nissan Leaf.

“It can carry all the plants and supplies I need and it doesn’t use any gas at all,” Harkema says.

His last car, a Dodge pickup, cost him about $2,500 a month, including gas at about eight miles per gallon. The Leaf is saving him around $1,500 a month, even with monthly payments and insurance.


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