California Energy Commission Awards 10 Grants Worth $3.5 Million To Install 181 Charging Stations

MAY 16 2014 BY STAFF 33

More Public Chargers Are Always Welcome

More Public Chargers Are Always Welcome

California Energy Commission

California Energy Commission

The California Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program has decided to award 10 grants worth a total of $3.5 million to fund the install of 181 public charging stations.

As Green Car Congress states, the 181 chargers will “be installed along California highway corridors, and at destination locations, workplaces, and multifamily buildings. The approved recipients are Clean Fuel Connection, Bio-Rad Laboratories, South Coast Air Quality Management District, Redwood Coast Energy Authority, California EV Alliance, CSU Fresno Foundation, City of Coronado, City of Torrance, Southern California Public Power Authority, and Bay Area Air Quality Management District.”

Additionally, the Energy Commission will award $2.3 million for a vehicle-to-grid demonstration test:

“Heavy duty, vehicle-to-grid fleet: A $2.3-million contract to the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will help fund demonstration of an all-electric, heavy duty, non-tactical vehicle-to-grid (V2G) fleet at Moffett Field near San Jose.”

Some money is being set aside for hydrogen fueling stations too, but it’s only $1.2 million and all of that money will go “for the operation and maintenance of hydrogen refueling stations throughout the state,”  which leads us to believe that the hydrogen fueling infrastructure will be incredibly expensive to operate and maintain.  Separately, California is handing out $46.6 million to build out the state’s hydrogen fueling infrastructure.

Of the 181 charging stations, 33 will be DC fast charging spots.  Full details on the plan can be found here.

Source: Green Car Congress, hat tip to Brian!

Categories: Charging, General

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33 Comments on "California Energy Commission Awards 10 Grants Worth $3.5 Million To Install 181 Charging Stations"

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Some/all of these better be quick chargers. For that price, they ought to all be quick chargers installed along the “highway corridors”.

I’m the opposite. I’m certainly not opposed to quick chargers. In fact, I hope at least a portion of them are. But I would certainly hope most of them are L2 stations capable of 7kw charging.

I just wish we could get more destination chargers around here in Texas. We have decent number of QC (although I would certainly like more) but we don’t have nearly enough L2.

I do not understand teh need for puplic L2 chargers except perhaps a hotels or other places that you would spend the night. They are way too slow for road trip use and for local use I always charge at home.

Well, I don’t have a dog in this particular fight – I moved out of California in 2006. Around here, NYS has a wonderful opportunity to install QCs at full-service rest stops along the thruway. I bet that for $3.5 million, they could install 1 (or two) at each rest stop! This is what we need, not more L2s that are hardly used enough to justify their existence (from a business perspective).

The cost needs to include transformers and even upgraded grid connections if there are multiple DC chargers in one spot. They should do them in the NYS thruway and also in Corning and Binghampton and other offshoot spots. If they are CHademo style then they only do about 150 miles per charging hour so that really only allows a certain flow of EVs across the state per day. Eventually there would be lines at the chargers. Price should be .20 to .25 per kWh since it is a convenience and not a necessity.

Yeah, rapid chargers all the way. Slower ones are really only useful for home, work and hotels.

Given the likely cost of utility service in remote locales like that the cost may not be that incredible. For the effort they should certainly make them as fast as possible.

Given that less than 35% of the on-road EV fleet is DC Fast capable and that is split amongst 3 different standards DC FC don’t make business sense to support. 3X the cost for 1/3 the market share….

No charger is going to make money going backwards in time.

In the future, almost all EVs will be quick-charge capable. Charging stations are a 20-year investment (or more).

L2 is a waste of money, IMO, for everything except the workplace and maybe malls.

Its a tad light on details. By my searching, it appears the CEC is letting the recipients determine that.

Obviously corridor chargers are useless unless they are fast chargers. Lets see if they know that, as well.

Definitely not QC – since QC would cost somewhere between 50 & 100k each. I guess a combination of QC & L2.

So you have a glorified parking place off highway 5 collecting bored people waiting for their cars?

Actually that sounds like a good recipe for yet another collection of unused chargers.

Here’s an idea: Put them on the rest stops in CA. They are already wired, and they have facilities while you wait.

Or does that make too much sense to work….

L2 stations aren’t that bad if at malls or restaurants or parks. A few hours is enough for most EVs. (Except Sparks and Smarts that don’t have 6.6kW chargers.)

These really should be QuickChargers, both Chademo and SAE combo. Nissan at least sells them for $15k.

$3.5 million for charging stations and $46 million for hydrogen? Gah, stop wasting all that money on hydrogen!


When you read Autoblog Green, they downvote anyone saying anything negative about hydrogen– even if its true.

This is why I love this site. Most users here seem far more informed on the subject.

Why are they so pro-hydrogen?

Oil and gas industry wants more H2 to allow selling of off-gassed H2 coming from Nat gas reforming. Same sort of thing fed the plastics industry as side products of refining oil to gasoline.

Autoblog is a general auto site, so even the green section will be mostly people that buy the propaganda from Toyota, Hyundai, BMW, etc.

I think VW’s direction towards PHEV/EV will start changing their minds, as they have plenty of fan-favorite brands (Audi, Porsche, Lambo).

Of 181 chargers, 35 DCFC and 146 Level2 chargers.
(Details on page 4 of 8, if InsideEVs staff wants to include the details)

Find it odd California allocating $3.5 million (~1/2 to DCFC) to EV infrastructure for 200,000+ PEVs, but $46.5 million to ~2000 FCVs.

There will need to be some budget adjusting if California is going to have infrastructure supporting the goal of 10% of new vehicles being sold in 2020 being ZEVs. Even in the near term; for 2016/17 we’ll see 500,000+ PEVs on California roads while FCVs will number fewer than 5000.

Hey Brian, I will add the charger splits into the story. Thanks!

Are there any requirements on the fast charge protocol? Chademo vs CCS vs Both?

First gen sub 100 mile EVs launched in 2010(MY2011) with the Leaf and 2011 with the Focus Electric for MY2012.

Which means MY2016/17 ‘should’ offer 160-200 miles 2nd gen versions of both the Leaf, Focus Electric and other current sub 100 mile EVs.

But when it’s now time for the MY2015s to arrive, VW and Kia are just now offering a 1st gen sub 100 mile EV. huh??

Where I am going with this is that by MY2017(2016), the base EV will be 160+ miles, which is when we will see the largest boost in EV sales, but with little to no need for local city charging.

Think about it, how often do you drive over 160 miles in one day?

So if CA is really planning for the future, they will be installing DC Fast Chargers along the interstate to compete with the Tesla Superchargers, and not wasting dollars on L2 chargers no one will use.

But Kia Soul will have a super fast new 100 kW Chademo charging rate, perhaps the VW too.

“But Kia Soul will have a super fast new 100 kW Chademo charging rate, perhaps the VW too.”
From a recent inside EV’s article, isn’t that claim quite questionable?

Let’s put aside the existence of any chargers that can support that charging rate. It’s not even clear if the port can take it.

I count 33: 6 – “south coast air basin” 2 – Cal state university Fresno parking lot. 6 – City of Torrance. 9 – “various places in the southern california region” 10 – “key destination sites within the Bay area air quality management district.” Interesting but far from being “a system for california highway corridors”. Hey, anything is better than nothing, but this is not the Tesla supercharger network by far. CLEAN FUEL CONNECTION, INC. Proposed resolution approving Agreement ARV-13-022 with Clean Fuel Connection, Inc. for a $200,000 grant to install 50 Level 2 electric vehicle chargers at five Kaiser Permanente locations within California. b. BIO-RAD LABORATORIES, INC. Proposed resolution approving Agreement ARV-13-023 with Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. for a $117,229 grant to install 21 single and dual port Level 2 electric vehicle chargers across 11 workplace locations. c. SOUTH COAST AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT DISTRICT. Proposed resolution approving Agreement ARV-13-026 with the South Coast Air Quality Management District for a $500,000 grant to install six electric vehicle fast chargers in the South Coast Air Basin. d. REDWOOD COAST ENERGY AUTHORITY. Proposed resolution approving Agreement ARV-13-029 with Redwood Coast Energy Authority for a $293,843 grant to install 10 publicly-accessible Level 2 electric… Read more »

In case it wasn’t clear that was me counting fast chargers only.

For extra credit, who can guess how many fast chargers exist on I-5 in California, the arterial highway that carries a HUGE amount of the traffic across the length of California, north of Los Angeles?

10? 5? 2?

That’s right kids, its ZERO. As in NONE. NADA. ZIPPO.

Actually, there are quite a few Tesla SuperChargers along I5 in California and they are heavily used.

It’s kind of pointless to install CHAdeMO stations on that route, the LEAF/iMiEV simply don’t have enough range to make that trip.

IMO the best thing to do with the stations would be to install clusters of them (3-4 per location with provisions for farther expansion) in/near cities which already have high concentrations of EVs. What we need now is reliable infrastructure, not infrastructure scattered all over the place haphazardly.

I disagree. If there were fast chargers every 60 miles, I think they would be used. I have a friend in the San Jose who regularly makes trips to Sacramento in his Leaf, because there are so many CHAdeMO chargers on the route and in the bay area. DC fast charging stations are the thing that eliminates range anxiety and in my opinion the most important thing to increase the appeal of EVs. When there are enough DC fast chargers on your route, you do not worry too much that you may not be able to charge at your destination, you can always charge on the way there or back. This really does eliminate the anxiety. (For example, 40+ mile trips each way to SF in a 80 mile range vehicle become routine). Level 2 chargers are best at work and at home, with other locations where people park for a few hours also being decent candidates (movie theater parking?) I think there should be incentives for employers to provide L2 charging for their employees, and there should be incentives (or requirements) for multifamily apartments and condos to provide level 2 charging to meet demand. Many of the best urban… Read more »

I was talking about Chademo DCFCs. Of course Tesla has it covered. That is what is so irritating.

hello NY? Anybody home in NYS govt?

I would be ok with level 2 chargers as long as they are capable of at least 19.7 kWh. Otherwise, this is a waste of money by the state.

L2 chargers are not a waste of money to the state. It lets them claim political points for being green. Then later they can tell everyone there is obviously no demand for chargers, since they put them in and nobody uses them.

Its a win-win situation.