Merkley: ReVolt Will Put Oregonians to Work Breaking America’s Dependence on Overseas Oil

Portland, OR –
Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley today applauded ReVolt Technology’s announcement that it has reached an agreement with the state of Oregon and will move its headquarters and research and development operations to Portland, Oregon.  ReVolt Technology specializes in the development of high-powered batteries for electric vehicles and is expected to create approximately 150 new jobs in Oregon beginning this October. 

“This is great news for Oregonians looking for work who are ready and willing to become part of Oregon’s clean energy future,” said Merkley, a leading proponent in Congress of electric vehicles.  “I’m thrilled that ReVolt is calling Portland home to its North American headquarters and soon will be putting hundreds of Oregonians to work developing cutting-edge technologies to help break our dependence on overseas oil.”

“Senator Merkley’s steadfast support and his recognition of our technology’s strategic value fostering energy independence were instrumental in establishing our headquarters in Portland,” said James P. McDougall, CEO of ReVolt Technology.  “With our expanded R&D and HQ facilities in Portland, ReVolt will develop a new generation of high-powered, rechargeable zinc-air flow batteries boosting electric vehicles’ performance and expanding Oregon’s clean technology sector.”

Merkley worked closely with ReVolt Technology and the Oregon Governor’s office as they sought an agreement on incentives that would enable the company to begin operations in Oregon in 2010.  ReVolt will receive $5 million in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), and $7.9 million from the state of Oregon through tax credits and loans.  ReVolt has selected a site near the Portland airport to serve as its North American headquarters.

ReVolt Technology was founded in 2004 and developed a rechargeable zinc-air battery tailor-made to advance the use of electric vehicles, high-power consumer devices and grid-scale renewable energy storage.  The zinc-air batteries can store three times the amount of energy of a comparably sized lithium-ion battery, do not heat up, cost significantly less to produce, and are non-toxic when disposed. 

Merkley has led efforts in Congress to advance the use and production of electric vehicles.  Along with Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Byron Dorgan (D-ND), he introduced the Electric Vehicles Deployment Act of 2010.  The legislation would create pilot “deployment communities” across the country, where targeted incentive programs for electric vehicles and charging infrastructure systems would help facilitate rapid market penetration and determine what “best practices” would be helpful for nationwide deployment of electric vehicles.

Merkley garnered national attention for his introduction earlier this year of a comprehensive plan for oil independence within twenty years, which included the electric vehicles bill.