Ford announced that Portland will be one of the launch cities for the new all-electric model of their Focus later this year. This makes sense, Portlanders love all things hybrid and electric. Heck, you can even pick up an electric sportbike from Brammo down the street in Ashland.

At first, we were excited – electric cars use no gas, right? However, we’d also heard that since coal-based electricity systems have a huge negative impact on the environment, a lot of electric cars’ benefits are burned out. It made us wonder: why do we see so many environment-loving Portlanders driving electric and hybrid cars?

We did a little research. According to DiscoveryNews, if you plug an electric car into your outlet in the U.S., you have a 50/50 chance of being connected to a coal-burning electric system. If you are connected to coal, then the carbon-dioxide output of your electric car equates to that of a gasoline car.

Well, that’s not so bad, right? You might not be saving the environment, but at least you’re not destroying it any more than you would with any other car. Plus, you get the added benefit of having a nice new car that doesn’t smell like french fries (we think biodiesel fumes smell more like french fry farts than they do actual french fries, though).

So, what do you think? Why do Portlanders like electric/hybrid cars so much? Is it the environmental thing, or is it something else?

Source: Ford deems Portland electric vehicle-ready