California Awards $8.9 Million For Completion Of Fast Charge Corridor

MAR 9 2016 BY MARK KANE 34

West Coast Electric Highway

West Coast Electric Highway

California Energy Commission allocated $8.9 million for nine fast charging infrastructure project along major corridors (North-South).

Perhaps finally California will catch up with Oregon and Washington with their part of the I-5 West Coast Electric Highway.

“This grant solicitation was an offer to fund projects that will install Direct Current (DC) fast charging stations on Interstate 5 (I-5), State Route 99 (SR 99), and along United States Highway 101 (US-101) from San Jose traveling South in California.”

In case of California, the plan is to install DC fast chargers with both plugs (CHAdeMO and SAE Combo) or two separate single-standard chargers to serve all EV models (Tesla uses own standard).

Four companies were listed to do the job:

  • ChargePoint (three projects)
  • EV Connect (three projects)
  • NRG EV (two projects)
  • Recargo (one project)

The largest part of the job falls to ChargePoint – nearly $4 million worth. ChargePoint intends to install double-head Express DC Fast chargers (50 kW).

Pasquale Romano, ChargePoint CEO said:

“ChargePoint is focused on proliferating EV charging across the country to accelerate the move to clean transportation and are honored to have been chosen to complete this program. The West Coast Electric Highway is key to expanding access to infrastructure especially in rural, disadvantaged communities to drive EV adoption. This project will support EV drivers in their daily travel and give drivers range confidence for longer distance travel.”

California Awards $8.9 Million For Completion Of Fast Charge Corridor (source: Green Car Congress)

California Awards $8.9 Million For Completion Of Fast Charge Corridor via Green Car Congress)

More about the project here.

California Energy Commission press release:

Grant Solicitation GFO-15-601
DC Fast Chargers for California’s North-South Corridors
February 16, 2016

On July 27, 2015, the California Energy Commission (Energy Commission) released a Grant Solicitation and Application Package entitled “DC Fast Chargers for California’s North-South Corridors” under the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP). This grant solicitation was an offer to fund projects that will install Direct Current (DC) fast charging stations on Interstate 5 (I-5), State Route 99 (SR 99), and along United States Highway 101 (US-101) from San Jose traveling South in California. The grant solicitation announced that there is up to a total of $10 million available for the agreements resulting from this solicitation and that the Energy Commission, at its sole discretion, reserves the right to increase or reduce the amount of funds available.

The attached table, “Notice of Proposed Awards”, identifies each applicant selected and recommended for funding by Energy Commission staff and includes the amount of recommended funding and score. This notice is being mailed to all parties who submitted an application to this solicitation and is also posted on the Energy Commission’s website at:

Funding of proposed projects resulting from this solicitation is contingent upon the approval of these projects at a publicly noticed Energy Commission Business Meeting and execution of a grant agreement.

source: California Energy Commission via Green Car Congress

Categories: Charging

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34 Comments on "California Awards $8.9 Million For Completion Of Fast Charge Corridor"

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Finally. This is coming way too late, but better late than never.

Hurray! The west-coast is getting electrified.

And what is the exact number of DCFC point?

Here is the press release 5 weeks later at time of final approval:

The grants went to four companies—Chargepoint Inc.; EV Connect Inc.; NRG EV Services LLC; and Recargo, Inc.—which will install 61 DC fast chargers at 41 sites along major routes on Interstate 5, Highway 99 and Highway 101. Fast chargers allow vehicles to fully charge in 20 to 30 minutes. Additionally, 40 sites will have one Level 2 charger, and one site will have two Level 2 chargers. Level 2 chargers allow most vehicles to go from zero to full charge in four to eight hours.

Good stuff!

So many docs there it’s hard to tell what’s what. When and where as in what exact due dates and GPS locations? You can already go N/S in CA via Hwy 101 with CCS and Hwy 99 with Chademo. East to Las Vegas would be nice.

Some guy in Canada is buying SparkEV in CA (best EV for the money) to drive to his home, and finding that OR/WA has big gap between Portland and Tacoma. In that regard, CA DCFC is better than OR/WA.

Do you have a link or any way to contact that person bringing the Spark EV back to Canada?

Here’s the link. If the link doesn’t show, go to and search for “RV park charging / required adapter(s)”

Someone’s already done it. Again, if the link doesn’t show, search google for “California to Alberta: The story of a Chevrolet Spark EV owner”

If I’m not mistaken, Tony Williams did a lot of the legwork to get this rolling. Is that correct?

In any event this is a great day!

Oregon’s network puts all other states to shame. If a poor, big state like Oregon can do it, anyone can, especially California. These stations are rather inexpensive.

Which is strange considering Oregon has a small fraction of EVs compared to CA.

Oregon invested more in infastracure, California gave nice tax credits and car pool lane access. As we’ve seen in Georgia, tax credits drive sales quicker, but don’t always last. I wish I could find numbers after 2014, but Oregon has the highest EV registraion as % of new cars registered ’13 and ’14 and was 5th overall both years. I’m going to guess Washington is now, since their sales tax credit went away. Georgia was #1 overall but no doubt would not be anymore.

That’s like saying China is the second richest nation in the world, since it is the second biggest.

In terms of fiscal solvency, California is lower than Oregon in most aspects, and higher in none:

In terms of quality of life, Oregon is higher. Income is higher when cost of living is factored in. Commutes times are shorter. For the last 3 years in a row, Oregon had the most new residents moving away from other states:

Oregon is growing at a healthy 3.3 %. Unemployment is lower in Oregon. Though California is no longer a couple points behind like it was when Oregon’s recovered faster after the last recession. Oregon doesn’t crash as hard when there is a downturn. California is poor when it comes to clean water resources. I’d take Oregon or Washington over California due to that, even if the economy in California was up where Oregon and Washington’s is in terms of livability and stability.

Hopefully they can future-proof them for 100kW+ service.


Yeah, I hope they don’t paint themselves in a corner. On projects like these, Govt typically does.

The requirements for this program have been publicly available through the CEC website for many months now. They specifically require a 50kW dual-standard station (or two stations) now, and require an expansion stub-out capable of supporting one additional station at 100kW in the future. That’s the benefit of starting late – they can benefit from all of the lessons other areas have already learned.

They have growth covered. Part of the grant award conditions is to have the conduit and basic infrastructure roughed in for future retrofits of higher kW FCDC chargers.

Well, I’m not sure what they can do to address that except make that the electricity service connection they get is big enough for the later boost in power.

Anyone know how many charge ports there will be at each location?

For the ChargePort Inc. at almost $2M, there better be AT LEAST 10-12 charge ports at that location.

How much does a Tesla SC cost to stand up?

Details on desired number of stations per corridor are available through the CEC website. They’re generally budgetting for about $200k per site, so yes, you should expect about 10 stations for the $2M awarded to ChargePoint.

You could definitely get a DCFC in the ground for less than $200k, but I’m happy they’ve decided to spend more rather than less and make sure these things are futureproofed to a certain extent.

Update from final approval 5 weeks later:

“There will be 61 DC fast chargers at 41 sites along major routes on Interstate 5, Highway 99 and Highway 101.”

Now if we could just get the “Texas Triangle” electrified so that it would be possible to travel between DF/W, Houston, and Austin/San Antonio areas in an EV.

Good point. I suggest you contact your state and ask whether they have, or are planning to, issue competitive grants such as this one. Here’s the link:

Thanks for the good news.

I didn’t know they had a request for applications out since last summer.

I hope things move fast from here on.

Now reading the nitty-gritty…

They were supposed to publish the scores in January and did it February; the final decision is to be this month, maybe will slip to April?

Not sure about timelines, but the critical sections (i.e. the northern-CA hole) are 100% state-funded, the less-critical ones 75% funded. It’s a sweet deal for the installers if they can carry this out.

Better late than never.

Now do it for highway 1!

About time. The CEC has had various reports, plans etc. for some of this for a while. At one point it looked like a few might get built last summer, but it never happened. I sure hope it happens fast now that these grants are funded, but based on history, I’ll believe it when I see it.

This is really the missing link in a heavily traveled corridor. We particularly need DCFC from south of Fresno to northern LA county. The I-5 goes over the Tejon pass (4,144 feet) south of Bakersfield and right now it’s close to 100 miles with zero infrastructure except some truck stop electrification at Frazier Park (which I’ve used to driver our Leaf to LA and back a number of times, but it is slow and not always reliable).

There was a CEC Notice of Proposed Award in April 2014 that included corridor fast chargers on I-5 from Stockton to Lebec. None of those are operational yet. However, those were awarded to a Non-Profit Organization. Hopefully, this award will be deployed faster by the commercial entities NRG, ChargePoint, et. al. I’m not holding my breath because this award says these stations have to be operational by 2020. Sigh…

According to plugshare, the Sacremento to Oregon border highway is covered, but only by SAE Combo (GM EVs).

The route from SF to LA is covered, but only on highway 99, not the far higher traffic highway 5, and only by CHademo.

It will be good to see.

CCS covered from Mexico border to OR border via 101.

Not quite. Still no non-Tesla coverage between Bakersfield and Santa Clarita on either the 99 or the I5. That’s 75 miles over a 4000 foot pass.

If the stations are rather inexpensive then why is it $9 million for nine projects ?

Each project includes multiple locations. The budget works out to about $200k per location, each location gets at least one dual standard station and room for expansion to at least one additional station at 100kW.

I am always happy to see more electric car fast charging stations getting installed, but if we are depending on states to install charging locations, we are going to have large gaps where states are not interested in spending the money. I think a better approach would be to have stations installed by the federal government, who would cover they entire United States. Or even better than that is to have the manufacturer install the Chargers. This is where Tesla is way ahead of anyone else. As soon as Tesla produces the model 3, they will be the best choice (at a great price). Even if you don’t want to drive across the country, the next owner of the car might want to.