Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Unveiled

Mayor Newsom Unveils Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations for San Francisco

Announces partnership with car sharing organizations to make plug-in cars available to the public

02/18/09 - Today, Mayor Gavin Newsom announced the installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in front of San Francisco City Hall as a next step in making the Bay Area the "EV Capital of the U.S." The charging stations will be used by car sharing organizations Zipcar and City CarShare, and by plug-in cars in the city of San Francisco’s municipal fleet. The chargers are part of a "Green Vehicle Showcase" that has been installed outside City Hall to highlight green transportation options, including natural gas vehicles, car-sharing systems, and electric cars.

"Electric vehicles are the future of transportation and the Bay Area is the testing ground for the technology," said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. "We began using plug-in hybrids in the city’s fleet last year. Now, for the first time the public can plug-in to the next generation of cars through car sharing organizations and take them for a drive in San Francisco."

The three EV charging stations at City Hall are being provided by Coulomb Technologies for a two-year public demonstration of "smart" EV charging technology.

"Today’s announcement further demonstrates that the Bay Area is the epicenter of the electric vehicle movement," said Richard Lowenthal, CEO of Coulomb Technologies. "A smart, networked infrastructure is an essential enabler of this movement and the City of San Francisco is leading by example."

For the first time, San Franciscans will have the opportunity to drive the newest fuel-efficient cars through the City’s partnership with City CarShare and Zipcar.

"With the introduction of Zipcar’s first-ever plug-in hybrid, members of the public now have a cost effective and convenient way to experience the newest, cleanest car on the road," said Scott Griffith, Chairman and CEO of Zipcar.

The increasingly popular car-sharing programs present a unique opportunity to test drive plug-in cars before they are mass produced.

"The combination of responsible car sharing and low emission vehicles such as this one will improve the environment as well as the quality of life for all San Franciscans," said Rick Hutchison, CEO of City CarShare.

Last November, Mayor Newsom was joined by Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums and San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed to announce a nine-step policy plan for transforming the Bay Area into the "EV Capital of the U.S." The ambitious regional commitment has been recognized by Coulomb Technologies, Better Place, General Motors (GM), and other companies who have made the Bay Area a high priority in their EV investment programs. In November, Better Place said it would invest $1 billion for networked electric mobility systems in the Bay Area. Last month GM announced it will roll out its plug-in Chevy Volt in San Francisco, and Nissan named the Bay Area a prime location for launching its battery powered car.

Following the unveiling of the Green Vehicle Showcase and the EV chargers, Mayor Newsom’s office convened a Bay Area Regional Stakeholders Meeting with local governments, business leaders and policy advocates to coordinate efforts in preparing the region for electric transportation.

For information about membership in the car-share organizations and using their plug-in vehicles – visit www.zipcar.com or www.citycarshare.org. For more information about Coulomb Technologies – visit www.coulombtech.com.

Posted on February 18, 2009 | The comments to this entry are closed.