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.

5,050 Electric Car Charging Stations for SF Bay

By John Addison (8/9/10)

The San Francisco Bay Area will add over 5,000 electric car charging stations (EVSE) in the next 2 years and continue as one of the nation’s leading areas for electric cars. The Bay Area’s 7 million people live in cities that have adopted hybrid cars, like the Prius, faster than in 99 percent of America. One in 5 new car sales are hybrids in cities like Berkeley, Palo Alto, and Sonoma. The San Francisco Bay Area already has about 8,000 electric cars on the road from Tesla Roadsters to Prius Plug-in Hybrids to light EVs limited to 25 miles per hour.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District Board of Directors approved $5 million to support further development of a regional electric vehicle charging infrastructure program in the Bay Area. Most health damaging air pollution in the Bay Area is from cars and trucks. Electric cars and plug-in hybrids are also critical to achieving an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the SF Bay Area.

“The past several years have seen exciting progress in the development of electric vehicle technology,” said Air District Executive Officer Jack P. Broadbent. “Creating a useful charging network will make it easier for Bay Area residents to Spare the Air every day by going electric.” Mr. Broadbent will present at the CAPCOA Climate Change Forum at the end of this month.

The new program will leverage up to $5 million in Air District funds to support electric vehicle charging infrastructure grants including:

  • 3,000 home chargers at single family and multi-family dwellings
  • 2,000 public chargers at employer and high-density parking areas
  • 50 fast chargers within close proximity to highways

The plan will especially help the majority of early adopters that do not have houses with garages. Electric cars with ranges of less than 100 miles are well suited for people who live in the urban density of cities like San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland. Most in these cities live in multi-family dwellings such as apartments and condos. Chargers for these dwellings, places of employment, and key public areas will be critical to encourage the Bay Area’s 4.5 million car and truck owners to buy and lease electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt.

Dozens of companies are now offering electric car charging stations that are smart grid enabled with network services for drivers and fleets: Aerovironment, Ecotality, Coulomb Technologies, Eaton, and GE.

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.

5,000 Free Electric Car Charging Stations from California to New York

By John Addison – June 3, 2010

Coulomb Technologies Smart-Charging for Ford Family of Electric Vehicles

Ford is promoting smart charging as it now takes orders for the Ford Transit Connect, next year for the 2011 Ford Focus EV, and in 2012 the Ford Plug-in Hybrid. Ford is partnering with Coulomb Technologies to provide nearly 5,000 free wall-installed charging stations for some of the automaker’s first electric car and electric delivery van customers.

Under the Ford Blue Oval ChargePoint Program, fleets and residents in nine designated markets could receive a free ChargePoint® Networked Charging Station with the purchase of a Ford Transit Connect Electric vehicle. The nine markets designated by Coulomb Technologies include Austin, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, Sacramento, the San Jose/San Francisco Bay Area, Redmond, Wash., and Washington D.C. The installation of ChargePoint charging stations will begin immediately.

Ford plans to introduce five new electrified vehicles in North America by 2012, providing a range of products to meet a variety of customer needs. These include:

• A Transit Connect Electric small commercial van. Test Drive Report

• A Ford Focus Electric passenger car debuting in 2011. Test Drive Report

• Two next-generation lithium-ion battery hybrid-electric vehicles and a plug-in hybrid by 2012 
If 5,000 Transit Connect Electrics are sold in the target cities prior to Focus EV sales, then charging units may all go to those customers. This will help accelerate early adoption of electric vans in fleets such as utilities, universities, goods delivery, and contractors.

New USA Jobs for Plug-in Cars and Advanced Batteries

Ford’s increased use of lithium-ion batteries is also increasing jobs in the United States. Ford will make its own battery packs in Michigan, using Focus EV cells from nearby Compact Power, an LG Chem company. The plug-in hybrid cells will be made in Wisconsin by Johnson-Controls Saft. The U.S. made new lithium-ion batteries will be used instead of the currently Mexican made nickel metal hydride batteries. Over 6,000 new jobs are coming to Michigan just for advanced batteries. “Michigan will be the place where the electric vehicle and battery-powered vehicle will be researched, developed, produced, manufactured and assembled,” said Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

The Ford Blue Oval ChargePoint Program is part of Coulomb Technologies’ $37 million ChargePoint America charging station infrastructure project made possible by a grant funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the Transportation Electrification Initiative administered by the Department of Energy.

Coulomb Technologies Leads in Smart Charging Build-Out

Coulomb Technologies is a fast-growing venture capital backed firm headquartered in California. Coulomb’s ChargePoint® Network, is open to all plug-in electric vehicle drivers and provides authentication, management and real-time control for the networked electric vehicle charging stations. The network of electric vehicle charging stations is accessible to all plug-in drivers by making a toll-free call to the 24/7 number on each charging station, or signing up for a ChargePoint Network monthly access plan and obtaining a ChargePass™ smart card. Other future payment options include using any smart (RFID) credit/debit card to authorize a session or using a standard credit or debit card at a remote payment station (RPS) to pay for charging sessions. To locate available charging stations, visit mychargepoint.net and click “Find Stations.”

As electric cars start to ship with the new J1772 smart charging capability, Coulomb has taken the lead in installing a smart charging infrastructure with over 700 networked charging stations worldwide shipped to more than 130 customers in 2009. The ChargePoint Network provides multiple web-based portals for Hosts, Fleet managers, Drivers, and Utilities, and ChargePoint Networked Charging Stations ranging in capability from 120 Volt to 240 Volt AC charging and up to 500 Volt DC charging.

Smart charging will allow customers to save money by charging off-peak when rates are low. Major utilities also plan to inform smart charging station customers that excess renewable energy is available if that is their charging preference. Electric Utilities Facilitate Smart Grid

ChargePoint America will offer home and public charging stations to individuals and businesses. Businesses interested in applying for free public charging stations or consumers exploring an electric vehicle purchase can visit www.chargepointamerica.com for more information. Three automakers have committed to deliver electric vehicles in designated US regions. The Chevrolet Volt, the Ford Transit Connect Electric and Ford Focus Electric through the “Ford Blue Oval ChargePoint Program”, and the smart fortwo electric drive will be introduced along with this program. ChargePoint America plans to provide 4,600 public and private ChargePoint Networked Charging Stations by October 2011.

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