Electric Car Charging Stations – California Adds 2,780 in Bay Area


In 1990, the San Francisco Bay Area was home to 6 million people. By 2050, it will be home to 9 million yet the air will be cleaner and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will be reduced. In the Bay Area, the transportation sector accounts for more than 50 percent of air pollution.  Local oil refineries add to the pollution.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) awarded $3.9 million to four companies to spur development of the Bay Area’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure as part of the agency’s Spare the Air initiatives. The Air District selected ECOtality, Coulomb Technology, AeroVironment and Clipper Creek to coordinate and deploy electric vehicle charging equipment throughout the Bay Area. All are U.S. corporations. Primarily local electricians do installations.

“The electric vehicle’s time has come and its effectiveness as a means of improving air quality depends on a robust charging infrastructure,” said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District. “Investing in infrastructure will help make the electric vehicle a viable option for many Bay Area residents and businesses.”

The funding will be spent to develop a home charger program that would provide incentives for deploying 2,750 chargers in Bay Area residences, as well as a fast charger program that that seeks to deploy 30 fast chargers for public use at key transportation corridor sites in the region. The table below shows the companies selected and the amount awarded:

Company Award Chargers
Home Charger Program
ECOtality $2,212,500 1,500
Coulomb Technology $350,000 500
AeroVironment $350,000 500
Clipper Creek $175,000 250
Fast Charger Program
ECOtality $614,800 20
AeroVironment $150,000 10
Program Coordination
ECOtality $50,000
Totals $3,902,300 2,780

ECOtality’s EV Project is bringing electric vehicles and supporting technology to thousands of homes in 16 cities and the District of Columbia this year. ECOtality recently formed a strategic partnership with Cisco, headquartered in the SF Bay Area, to advance the smart grid.

Cisco and ECOtality have completed development for integrating the Blink Network charger interface with the Cisco HEMS. The Blink Network charger interface will be accessible through the Cisco Home Energy Controller (HEC), where Blink EV Home Charging Station owners can access information about their EVs and optimize their charging and energy usage. By combining Cisco’s Home Energy Management solution with the Blink Network charger interface, consumers will now be able to monitor and control their energy use—including EV charging—at home and on the road.

Clean Fleet Report estimates that 4,000 electric cars will be delivered in the SF Bay Area this year and 10,000 in 2012. The area is already one of the nations leading buyers of hybrid-electric cars. Electric cars are already available by the hour from Zipcar and City Car Share in this region.

Over 20 percent of the SF Bay Area’s energy comes from renewable sources such as wind, hydropower, solar, geothermal, and biowaste from agriculture. Ocean power is being added. Coal power plants are not allowed in the Bay Area. The new electric cars can be programmed to charge at night when excess power is on the grid. As utilities make the information available, they can even be programmed to charge when excess renewables are on the grid.

The $3.9 million outlay is part of an ongoing effort by the Air District to support at-home electric vehicle charging in the region and to establish a network of accessible charging sites where electric vehicle owners can conveniently recharge while conducting their normal business, running errands or traveling.

The fast charges will significantly expand the range of travel along the Pacific Northwest corridor, and provide charging options for electric vehicle owners without access to home charging equipment.

Funding for the electric vehicle infrastructure program was provided through the Air District’s Transportation Fund for Clean Air Regional Fund that allocates money collected as a surcharge on vehicle registration fees. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is the regional agency chartered with protecting air quality in the nine-county Bay Area.

Electric cars are a major component in how the SF Bay Area can reduce transportation GHG emissions by 80 percent.

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About Author: John Addison

Founder of the Clean Fleet Report, author of Save Gas, Save the Planet. John writes about electric cars, renewable energy, and sustainability.

One thought on “Electric Car Charging Stations – California Adds 2,780 in Bay Area

  1. Ralph
    February 4, 2011 at 9:24 am

    The sorry fact is that none of these are solar charging stations. The United States should be a leader in developing the charging infrastructure using solar. Swappable batteries can be trickle charged for quick changes. Solar canopy type carports are so simple to build….

    The fastest “quick charge” will not beat the time of a battery swap.

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