A public-private partnership in the San Francisco Bay Area plans to build a $1-billion network of electric-car charging stations, while in Portland, Ore., a utility and two private firms already are erecting electric vehicle battery-charging stations in a cluster of nearby cities. Photo: Better Place Recharging takes one minute per mile driven, or drivers can swap out batteries. In Oregon, Nissan Motors and Renault SA have signed a memorandum of understanding with Gov. Ted Kulongoski (D) to supply electric vehicles to the state’s fleet in 2010. Nissan also committed to work with the state, in partnership with utility Portland General
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.