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Public EV charging stations to come to Bay Area by 2013

$5 million in funding is in place to install 5,000 EV charging stations in the Bay Area, but they won't come online for another two years, SmartPlanet has learned.
Written by David Worthington, Contributor on
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Public chargers will be installed in the Bay Area by 2013.

Last week we reported that $5 million in funding is in place to install 5,000 charging stations for electric vehicles throughout parking lots and residential areas in the San Francisco Bay Area.

In a follow up conversation with an official from the board that approved the funding, SmartPlanet learned that the roadside stations will not come online for another two years.

According to Ralph Borrmann, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District board's public information officer, most of the funding will go toward installing 3,000 residential charging stations, with the remainder being earmarked for 2,000 public stations located in both public and private parking lots.

The residential portion of the program will kick off by this winter, he said.

The board has not decided the exact method for disbursing the funds to residents, Borrmann acknowledged; however, he suggested that it could be done through a voucher or rebate program. The charging stations will be manufactured by Coulomb Technologies, a company that produces electric vehicle infrastructure systems.

The company provides a payment service called ChargePoint Network. ChargePoint charging stations offer 120-volt to 240-volt AC charging and up to 500-volt DC charging, according to the company's website.

The cost of installing the units is variable – depending on how far away a charger is located from a power source, Borrmann said.

"How far away the [charger] is from the power determines how much extra to pay," he said.

An array of rapid chargers will be installed in public places before the end of 2013, Borrmann added. A rapid charging infrastructure will be built near major highways so vehicle operates who may be running low on power and need it quicker than if they were in their residence can get it, he said.

The scale of the project is much larger than previous initiatives; the city of San Francisco installed three public charging stations in 2009. The board's goal is to achieve significant emission reductions from the transportation sector to attain and maintain state and national air quality standards, it said in a statement.

The transportation sector accounts for more than 50 percent of air pollution in the Bay Area, according to the board.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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