State proposes $33M for EV charging in Santa Clara, San Mateo counties

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The California Energy Commission is partnering with five local energy agencies to launch an incentive project for the installation of public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations throughout Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. As more Californians choose to drive EVs and the state transitions to an electric transportation system, there is a continued need for available charging stations. This is especially the case in Silicon Valley, which has the highest rate of EV sales in the state.

The project, expected to launch in spring of 2020, is an initiative of the Energy Commission’s California Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project (CALeVIP), which works with local community partners to develop and implement regional incentive projects for charging infrastructure that supports the adoption of EVs statewide. Funding will span two to four years.

The Energy Commission is proposing to provide $21 million in incentives to Santa Clara County and $12 million in incentives to San Mateo County. City of Palo Alto Utilities, Peninsula Clean Energy, San José Clean Energy, Silicon Valley Clean Energy and Silicon Valley Power are pledging to contribute millions in matching funds to this effort, pending approval by their respective governing boards or city councils. By leveraging local investment, CALeVIP funds will further expand EV charging accessibility in the region.

“This project will help provide the necessary infrastructure for the shift to a clean, electric transportation system statewide,” says California Senator Bob Wieckowski. “Adding charging options in convenient locations will make electric vehicles accessible for those unable to charge at home. This in turn will support a continued increase in EV adoption, allowing our communities to meet our climate goals, and helping everyone benefit from better local air quality.”

“The lack of charging stations is one of the main reasons consumers are reluctant to make the switch to electric vehicles. We can’t move the needle on EV adoption unless we aggressively expand our charging infrastructure. This state and local funding partnership would not only support the current demand in the South Bay and Peninsula, but also help meet the needs of future EV drivers,” said Assembly member Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), whose district includes northern San Mateo County.

“The Energy Commission is excited to work with all our partners on this project to increase access to convenient charging for electric vehicles in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties,” said Commissioner Patty Monahan of the Energy Commission. “By expanding the state’s charging network, CALeVIP projects like this one help the state transition to zero-emission transportation, provide cleaner air and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

CALeVIP works to address regional needs for EV charging infrastructure throughout California, while supporting the state’s goals to improve air quality, fight climate change and reduce petroleum use.

The incentive project will help increase the number of fast chargers and Level 2 chargers in public, workplace and multi-family housing locations, as well as along highway corridors.

Fast chargers provide at least 100 miles of range per hour of charging, and some can charge a battery up to 80 percent in 30 minutes. Level 2 chargers provide 15-35 miles of range per hour of charging, which is enough for most day-to-day driving.

California’s goal is to get 5 million EVs on its roads by 2030 to reduce carbon emissions and to support those vehicles by installing 250,000 chargers statewide, including 10,000 direct current fast chargers, by 2025.

Santa Clara and San Mateo counties receive clean electricity from local energy providers that is at a minimum 80 percent greenhouse-gas free. Powering cars with electricity rather than fossil fuels dramatically reduces tailpipe emissions that contribute to climate change and air pollution. CALeVIP funding and the matching funds from local agencies will help Santa Clara and San Mateo counties accelerate this transition, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector, the leading source of emissions in Silicon Valley.

CALeVIP has several regional projects throughout the state, including projects in Fresno, Sacramento and Southern California. CALeVIP and its regional projects are implemented by the Center for Sustainable Energy and funded primarily by the Energy Commission’s Clean Transportation Program (also known as the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program).

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