Largest Public EV Charging Center In California Opens In Santa Clara

APR 21 2016 BY MARK KANE 22

Silicon Valley Power

Silicon Valley Power

The City of Santa Clara celebrates the opening of the largest multi-standard public charging center in California.

The Santa Clara Electric Vehicle Charging Center is located at the city’s Tasman Parking Garage (which is the busy parking structure situated near the Santa Clara Convention Center, Levi’s Stadium and the California Great America theme park).

In total some 49 spots were installed – 48 AC Level 2 and single DC fast charger.

The project was suppored by a grant of $393,000 from the California Energy Commission, and we think represents a pretty good return on the money spent as compared to previous endeavors:

“Santa Clara’s municipal electric utility Silicon Valley Power (SVP) collaborated with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Joint Venture Silicon Valley, ChargePoint and MJR Electric to obtain a grant of $393,000 from the California Energy Commission to pay for the equipment and construction of the charging center. Santa Clara staff provided labor, and operational expenses of the facility are expected to be covered by usage fees from EV drivers.

The 6-story parking structure also features a 370kW solar installation, and uses load-shifting battery technology from Green Charge Networks to help offset peak power demand (and costs) with stored power. As always, it is not a closed system,  solar power does not go directly to the charging stations, but rather flows into the local SVP grid, which returns the facility’s electricity.

The press release surrounding the debut event notes that “The grand opening ceremony featured a showcase of the latest models from local EV dealers. Industry analysts say that California accounts for 40 percent of the 116,000 EVs reported sold in the U.S. in 2015.”

Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor was on hand for the launch and said:

“This is a milestone in our city’s commitment to fighting climate change, and it sets a standard for local action in California. This garage also features a rooftop solar array and state-of-the-art power storage capability.”

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22 Comments on "Largest Public EV Charging Center In California Opens In Santa Clara"

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“operational expenses of the facility are expected to be covered by usage fees from EV drivers.”

Ok, what are the fees?

Plugshare says it’s an EVgo station so EVgo fees apply. The pictures indicate that only the DCFC charger is EVgo but all the L2 chargers are ChargePoint. There is only one CHADEMO charger and no CCS charger, that’s pretty surprising with the DCFC coming from EVgo.

Really sad if the DCFC isn’t multi-standard (CCS+CHAdeMO)… Given there’s not a single standard yet, and that adding an additional plug is negligible in the overall costs, there’s no excuse for this in a new installation — virtually all European DCFCs have both. I hope the state funding agencies cathc on and refuse to subsidize any non-multistandard chargers.

$0.25/kWh for L2, free parking except for game days (from what I could tell online).

This truly is the model for all future parking garages / lots.

The mix of L2 (presumably 30 amps) and DC fast charging would depend on what type of business / dwelling that the location serves.

City garage or condo building – lots of L2 for 8 hour employee shifts or 8 hour overnight charging, plus a DC charger for visitors.

Public lot for a short stay (shopping / dinner / lunch) – multiple DC chargers with fewer L2.

I wouldn’t say this is model for all. 200 miles range EV would benefit little from L2 at places like this. They will add cost, and I suspect not many will use them if they cost more than home charging.

L2 would be beneficial to apt/condo dwellers who can’t charge at home even if they cost more. But then, DCFC can serve them just as well, and based on today’s eVgo pricing, DCFC would be cheaper than 3.3kW L2.

So this is a model only for those EV who can’t use DCFC and has 80’ish miles range. They are going to die out soon, especially with help from Quickchargepower to convert them to use DCFC.

2 hours at a 40 amp 240 volt charger could easily give over 50 miles of range to a 200 mile car. I think a garage like this with different amp settings could work.

Why would somebody NOT want to charge a “200 mile car” (I’m driving one already, by the way)?

The range of the vehicle will foster widespread adoption of EVs, as will ubiquitous charging.

Before you say “you just charge at home”, first know that not everybody has that possibility, nor does everybody have a “work commute”.

It will cost more to charge at this parking lot than at home. Then if one’s not in a pinch, why would one want to pay more? I go by the example of penny pinchers who drive half way across town to get $0.01/gal cheaper gas.

Not everyone can charge at home, true, but this is public parking structure, not condo or apt parking. Better example would’ve been some apartment or condo complex doing something like this, except they have to figure out how to meter it properly, not just install bunch of them and have tenants figure it out.

Assigned parking is one way, but having lived in apt, people don’t always abide by this rule. Then, as I stated before, DCFC has to be the answer until that’s figured out. My tiny brain can’t see any better way.

If anything, they ought to contract out to your company to expand DCFC conversions instead of more willy-nilly L2. Hurry up and grow your business! 🙂

$.25 kWh is the most I’ll pay as I have gas backup and at this point it’s cheaper to use it. I have solar at home and my over production covers my city ChargePoint charges.

Kind of important to extend the Federal EV Tax Credit. Please help sign this petition:

Broadcast this to all your social media peeps. THANKS!!!!

Please stop spamming, especially as “Anon”.

We’re on the edge of a significant change, with the Bolt, Model 3 and Leaf Gen 2 in the $30ks, not to mention the Volt Gen 2 is significantly improved, plus we’ll see a number of other new entrant PHEVs coming with more range, and China’s policies causing manufacturers to go electric.

How about we actually wait a bit to see what’s going to happen with the Gen 2s before throwing more subsidies through what was a horribly-structured program in the first place?

It depends on what happens to Congress in November. If Republicans continue to have the majority, forget incentives.

Why are all the cars parked at angles? Which makes me think of this question. Can a Tesla (or any car) auto-park at an angled spot?

Because photographers.

Some charging station news from Texas, Revitalize Charging Solutions (RCS) just finished a successful pilot program in Fort Worth and is now in the planning stages of installing L2 and DCFC stations around the city. Installation of the new chargers is supposed to start in June.

I think the angled parking was for the “car show”

Looks like all the lines are perpendicular to the wall.

Yeah, for the photo op. Because it looks better.

Actually, I suspect it is an artifact of the wide angle lens used, it makes the cars appear to be at an angle…

Look at the lines, the cars are across the lines. As has been said, just looks better for the photo op.

I parked there when I went to an LED/lighting convention at the convention center. Yeah, it had a really long row of chargers. That is really nice for people going to the convention center or Levi’s Stadium.

Sadly, the SAP Center where the SJ Sharks play have no charging! 🙁


Nice to see such a facility, also provide facilities to charge the cellphones & computers and many who come there for it will see the EVs and start buying one.