Bay Area mayors want to electrify their commuters

The three major cities in the San Francisco Bay Area want to lead the nation in electric autos. Today they took another big step in that direction.

The three major cities in the San Francisco Bay Area want to lead the nation in electric autos. Today they took another big step in that direction. The mayors of San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland (listed in order of population) announced a plan to make battery-powered cars available at less cost than standard autos.

The private firm leading the project is Better Place. They already have similar deals in Denmark, Israel and Australia. Better Place will try to raise a billion dollars in capital for their Bay Area operations. Better Place is a local company for the Bay Area mayors. It's based in Palo Alto.

Here's a video of how those Coulomb recharging stations will work.

In addition to working with automakers to supply battery-powered cars, Better Place will build charging stations and battery swap garages where a low battery can be swapped for a fully-charged one.They hope to have a pilot project on the streets before 2011. Apparently the three California cities are lending moral support and cheerleading, not actual dollars.

Coulomb Technologies, another Bay Area firm, plans to begin installing electric charging stations in the next few weeks in San Jose. Their recharging stations wil lbe curbside installatons and powered by solar energy. Coulomb is headquartered in Campbell which is just up the road from San Jose.