The City of Palo Alto has installed new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in downtown-area parking garages. Two dual-port charging stations have been installed at the Cowper-Webster Garage (520 Webster St.) and one dual-port station in the High Street Garage (528 High St.). The new stations are ChargePoint Level 2 chargers which became fully operational on July 30, 2015. The stations have been installed as part of a wider effort known as the Bay Area Charge Ahead Project, a grant program funded by the California Energy Commission which will install 152 EV charge ports throughout the Bay Area in high-priority areas that relieve known EV charging congestion hot spots, and known gaps in the Bay Area's charging network.
"Demand on the existing electric vehicle charging infrastructure in our city has increased steadily. These stations will make it even more convenient for drivers," said Mike Sartor, City of Palo Alto’s Public Works Director. “Maintaining access and availability to charging stations will continue to encourage the sustainable decisions of our residents and visitors, which benefit us all.”
The Bay Area Charge Ahead Project is a region-wide collaboration led by the Bay Area Climate Collaborative (BACC), which is a program of Prospect Silicon Valley (a 501c3 organization). The mission of BACC is to accelerate the region’s transition to a clean energy economy through the promotion of sustainable mobility, clean energy, and energy efficiency.
“The Bay Area is the nation’s leading regional EV market on a per capita basis,” said Rafael Reyes, Executive Director of the BACC. “Reaching our regional goals of 100,000 EVs on the road by 2020 will result in over $100 million going into the local economy that would otherwise go out of the region and state for petroleum.”
There are nearly 40,000 plug-in vehicles and 2,500 charging spots in the Bay Area. EV sales have grown steadily in California, exceeding the rate of adoption compared to conventional hybrids when first introduced. In 2014, EV sales accounted for 5.2% of auto sales and are expected to grow according to state and independent projections. Battery costs—the most significant component of PEV costs—are estimated to decrease by up to 50% or more by 2020. The adoption of EVs in turn results in significant local economic value as a dollar saved at the gas pump and spent on the other household goods and services creates 16 times more jobs than a dollar spent on refined petroleum product according to the California Electric Transportation Coalition.
ABM is assisting all BayCAP sites with the installation, project management and maintenance of charging stations. ABM is the largest EV supply equipment (EVSE) installer in North America, and is a distributor and warranty service provider for ChargePoint equipment nationwide. ChargePoint is the world’s leading EVSE supplier, based in San Jose and has more than 18,000 charge stations deployed globally. ChargePoint is a partner to BayCAP for their technical and financial support. By offering equipment discounts, ChargePoint provided the required matching funding for this project.
“We are pleased to support Palo Alto with this exciting project,” said Cameron Funk, Director of Business Development for ABM. “Through the collaborative design of this project we are delivering greater results than any prior EV deployment project.”
Based on current public charger utilization and vehicle growth rates indicate the new stations will likely yield significant carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions benefits. Over 10 years the BayCAP infrastructure may result in nearly 11M kg CO2 avoided directly attributable to the electric vehicle miles traveled (eVMT) generated by the stations. In addition, the eVMT will yield the additional reductions in other criteria pollutants such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides.