On Tuesday, October 22, the San José City Council voted to allow San José Clean Energy (SJCE) to participate in the California Energy Commission’s California Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project and contribute $4 million in matching funds to the Energy Commission’s proposed $10 million allocation for San José. The project will fund the installation of new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in public, workplace, and multi-family housing locations over the next two to four years.
The investment will essentially double the current level of public charging stations by adding approximately 100 Direct Current Fast Charging (CDFC) stations and 1,400 Level 2 charging stations. DCFC, or “supercharging,” stations can charge a vehicle to around an 80% charge in about 20-30 minutes, while Level 2 chargers can provide approximately 20-40 miles of charge per hour. With San José’s high rate of EV adoption, the investment will help meet current demand for charging while helping spur further expansion of EV usage.
“Because of these funds, residents can look forward to an increased availability of EV charging,” said Lori Mitchell, Director of San José Clean Energy. “Adding charging options in convenient locations will make EVs accessible for those unable to charge at home. This, in turn, will support a continued increase in EV adoption, improving local air quality for everyone, especially those living along busy roads and freeways.”
Since low-income and disadvantaged communities typically have lower EV adoption, applicants from these communities will receive additional incentive funding for charger installations. SJCE staff have recommended to the CEC to structure the funding such that at least 25% of the charging stations be installed in these communities.
San José’s allocation is part of a larger regional investment that could see up to $60 million invested in new EV charging infrastructure in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. SJCE worked collaboratively with four local government energy agencies – Silicon Valley Clean Energy, Peninsula Clean Energy, Silicon Valley Power (City of Santa Clara), and City of Palo Alto Utilities – to apply for the CEC funding.
One of California’s climate goals is to get 5 million EVs on the road by 2030 to reduce carbon emissions and support those vehicles by installing 250,000 chargers statewide. CALeVIP works to address regional needs for EV charging infrastructure throughout California, while also supporting the state’s goals to improve air quality, fight climate change and reduce petroleum use.
The project is expected to launch in fall 2020 where the funds will be available for two to four years. Businesses, non-profits, and public agencies can apply for the funding, install the charging infrastructure, and receive a rebate for their eligible costs according to the project guidelines. Additionally, the CEC selected the non-profit Center for Sustainable Energy to administer and promote the program.