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California Energy Commission awards more than $300,000 for EV charging infrastructure

15 November 2012

The California Energy Commission approved funding of $341,045 to help increase the state’s plug-in electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Gov. Brown’s executive order of 23 March 2012 directs state government to support and facilitate the rapid commercialization of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) in California, with a target of having 1.5 million ZEVs on California roadways by 2025. The order also requires that sufficient infrastructure be installed in California to support 1 million ZEVs by 2020.

The new infrastructure awards are made through the Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, created by Assembly Bill 118. For the current fiscal year, 2012-13, the program is slated to invest approximately $90 million to encourage the development and use of new technologies, and alternative and renewable fuels, with the goal of reducing dependence on foreign oil and improving the environment. It is funded through a surcharge on vehicle and boating registration and smog check fees.

The state’s investments are safeguarded by matching-fund requirements for awardees, and by making payments on a reimbursement basis.

Three of the awards are for projects that include installation of Level 2 electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Level 2 systems are expected to become the most commonly used charging systems, and are suitable for home, business fleet, and public facilities. They use 208-240 volt power and typically provide 10 to 20 miles of range for each hour of charging. Level 1 charging systems use 110 volt power and typically provide 2 to 5 miles of range for each hour of charging. DC fast-charging systems typically provide 60 to 80 miles of range in 20 minutes of charging. These are expected to be particularly suited for use at highway rest stops to provide quick range extension for longer trips.

The award recipients are:

  • The California Department of Housing and Community Development will receive $200,000 to conduct an assessment of the costs and code requirements for installing electric vehicle charging infrastructure in residences, including single-family homes, condos and apartments. The information will be used in establishing future residential code requirements for use throughout the state.

  • Alternative Energy Systems Consulting, Inc., will receive $69,446 to install five RWE Level 2 eStation Smart Systems, each consisting of two charging outlets for a total of 10 charging outlets to be used in parking structures on the campus of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).

    UCSD has more than 800 campus vehicles, including five Nissan Leafs and more than 50 hybrid-electric vehicles.

  • Office of Fleet and Asset Management, California Department of General Services (DGS), will receive $41,475 to upgrade the existing electrical system and install nine Level 2 electric charging stations at the State Garage in Sacramento. These charging stations will allow the office to power 10 new electric vehicles for the state’s rental car fleet.

  • OurEvolution Energy and Engineering will receive $30,124 to construct, maintain and operate two workplace Level 2 electric vehicle charging stations in Humboldt County, one at the Arcata City Hall, and the other at GHD Engineering in Eureka. This award will aid in the development of a plug-in electrical vehicle readiness plan for the Humboldt Bay region, being undertaken by a coalition that includes the Schatz Energy Research Center, the Redwood Coast Energy Authority, consulting firm GHD, Pacific Gas and Electric Co., and the cities of Eureka and Arcata.

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