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February 4, 2011 > Electric vehicle infrastructure gets $3.9M boost

Electric vehicle infrastructure gets $3.9M boost

Submitted By Aaron Richardson

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the regional agency chartered with protecting air quality in the nine-county Bay Area is awarding $3.9M to four companies to spur development of the Bay Area's electric vehicle-charging infrastructure as part of the agency's Spare the Air initiatives.

The Air District selected ECOtality, Coulomb Technology, AeroVironment and Clipper Creek to coordinate and deploy electric vehicle charging equipment throughout the Bay Area.

"The electric vehicle's time has come and its efficacy at improving air quality depends on a robust charging infrastructure," said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District. "Investing in infrastructure will help make the electric vehicle a viable option for many Bay Area residents and businesses."

The funding will be spent to develop a Home Charger Program, which would provide incentives for deploying 2,750 chargers in Bay Area residences, and a Fast Charger Program that will deploy 30 fast chargers for public use at key transportation corridor sites in the region.

For the Home Charger Program, $2,212,500 was awarded to ECOtality for 1,500 chargers; Coulomb Technology and AeroVironment each received $350,000 to install 500 units each; and $175,000 went to Clipper Creek for 250 chargers.

For the Fast Charger Program, ECOtality received $614,800 to deploy 20 chargers; $150,000 went to AeroVironment for 10 units.

Additionally, $50,000 was awarded to ECOtality for Program Coordination. Funding amounts to $3,902,300 for 2,780 chargers.

The $3.9M outlay is part of the Air District's on-going effort to support at-home electric vehicle charging in the region and to establish a network of accessible charging sites where electric vehicle owners can conveniently re-charge while conducting their normal business, running errands or traveling.

The fast chargers will significantly expand the range of travel along the Pacific Northwest corridor and provide charging options for electric vehicle owners without access to home charging equipment.

This allocation is part of the $5M the Air District made available in August 2010 to support electric vehicle charging stations in the Bay Area, and follows an expenditure of $1.3M last year to fund public charging stations. The remaining program balance of $1,097,700 will be used in FY 2011-12 to pay for additional residential or public chargers, based on the results of a regional analysis effort being undertaken by the Joint Policy Committee which consists of the Air District, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments.

Funding for the electric vehicle infrastructure program was provided through the Air District's Transportation Fund for Clean Air Regional Fund which allocates money collected as a surcharge on vehicle registration fees. The program will also leverage cost-share funding provided to the contractors by federal and state grants and private funds.

In the Bay Area, the transportation sector accounts for more than 50 percent of air pollution. Significant emission reductions from the transportation sector will help the Bay area attain and maintain state and national air quality standards.

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