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10,000 EVs for San Francisco in 2012

San Francisco Bay Area may be the nation’s first region with 10,000 electric cars. It could happen in 2012 for the region with 7 million people and 5.3 million vehicles. Electric utility PG&E reports that they are now charging 1,800 Nissan LEAFs and 250 Chevrolet Volt residential owners. Add to these numbers a growing number of electric car fleets that include Google, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and the U.S. Navy; 4,000 freeway-speed electric vehicles in the SF Bay Area are forecast by the end of this year.

I’ve personally been to meetings where 50 of the attendees arrived in their Nissan LEAFs, Chevrolet Volts, Prius Plug-in Hybrids, and Tesla Roadsters. Also on the road in the Bay Area are test vehicles including Ford Focus Electric, Honda Fit Electric, Tesla Model S, Mitsubishi i, electric trucks and electric motor cycles. CityCar Share is ordering 15 battery-electric cars and 15 plug-in hybrids, giving these cars wide exposure to its thousands of members.

The Bay Area is the home of cities where one in five drive a Prius, Silicon Valley innovators aspire to be the next Steve Jobs, and Tesla opens a new plant with aspirations to make the U.S. the world leader in electric vehicles.

Over 1,000 electric car chargers now appear to be installed in the San Francisco Bay Area. More new EV owners are trickle-charging their cars as they wait for backlogged wall chargers to be installed by backlogged electricians dealing with backlogged utilities and city inspectors. During the next two years over 5,000 chargers, formally labeled electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE), will be installed in the Bay Area.  Although homes are the primary point of charging, electric car drivers like me are extending their range by using over 100 public charge points in the Bay Area installed by Coulomb Technologies and others. Major employers are installing chargers for their employees, fleets, and visitors. Google has 70 charge stations for its over 100 employees who drive Teslas, LEAFs, Volts, and other electric cars.

Damian Breen, Director at the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, reports that over 1,000 public charging stations are being installed in the Bay Area. Most are Level 2; some are dual stations with one Level 2 and one Level 1 outlet. Also planned are 6 DC Fast Chargers to be installed in the next 12 months; 50 are scheduled to be operating by the end of 2013. These DC Fast Chargers, similar to the CHAdeMO chargers successfully used in Japan, can add 60 miles of range for a typical electric car in about 20 minutes.

In 2012, Nissan, GM, Ford, Toyota, Honda and others are offering ten different electric car models for less than $40,000. Leases start at $350. During the next two years, automakers are building new plants and expanding existing plants to keep-up with customer orders for electric cars.

Electric Car Chargers for Central Parking System with 2,200 Locations

Central Parking System and its subsidiary USA Parking have announced the rollout of electric car charging. Central Parking, with 2,200 locations and over one million parking spaces, clients include some of the nation’s largest owners and operators of mixed-use projects, office buildings, hotels, stadiums and arenas as well as airports, hospitals and municipalities.

Car Charging Group (OTCBB:CCGI) will install, own and operate the charge points. The chargers are made by Coulomb Technologies. Central Parking charge points will be part of the ChargePoint® Network so that drivers can locate the charge points through Google, chargepoint.net, smart phones, and EV navigation systems.

As a Nissan Leaf owner, I often use Coulomb chargers at various locations. For example, Saturday my wife and I wanted to meet friends 40 miles away for dinner. Using chargepoint.net I located a convenient charging location, then used Yelp to find a good restaurant nearby. At the charger, I held my RFID ChargePoint card near the location, authorized the charging unit unlocked, I connected the charger to my LEAF and went off to dinner. ChargePoint even sent me a text when the LEAF was fully charged.

A couple of weeks ago, I was on a Networked Smart Grid panel with Richard Lowenthal, Founder and CTO of Coulomb Technologies. I complimented him on never having a problem with his chargers and with the internet map being accurate. He told me that Coulomb now has over 5,000 charge points installed in over 20 countries. He regularly uses the ChargePoint network to save gas. Richard had driven his Chevrolet Volt from his home in Cupertino to the San Francisco Airport where he charged with one of 14 Coulomb charge points. Then he went to downtown San Francisco and again charged. When he returned home after 110 miles of driving, he displayed that 102 miles were in electric only-mode.

United States will Soon Have 10,000 Electric Car Chargers

“There are close to 17,000 parking garages in the U.S., and they will play one of the most vital roles in the development of a national EV charging infrastructure,” said Brian Golomb, Director of Sales of Car Charging. “By partnering with two of the most important companies in this sector – companies that understand the benefits of electric vehicles – we will move much quicker in the rollout of this nationwide infrastructure.”

Walgreens, the nation’s largest drugstore chain, is also having Car Charging Group install Coulomb Chargers at a number of locations. Car Charging Group provides EV charging stations at no charge to property owners/managers while retaining ownership, thus allowing their partners to offer their customers, tenants and employees charging services without incurring any outlay of capital. In addition, Car Charging Group’s partners realize a percentage of the charging revenue generated by the charging services paid for by the EV owners.

As part of the agreement, Central Parking has the right to purchase five percent of the Common Stock of Car Charging Group. “We are very excited about this partnership, because it will greatly expand the reach of our nationwide EV charging network,” said Michael Farkas, CEO of Car Charging Group.

This rollout will take us to over 10,000 car chargers installed in the United States. In comparison, there are over 100,000 gasoline stations, most with multiple pumps. “Electric vehicles are no longer a mirage – they are becoming an ever increasing presence on our roads and we are proud to be working with such an innovator in the EV sector,” said James Marcum, CEO of Central Parking Systems.

Through the end of 2012, Nissan is building 100,000 electric cars and GM is building 80,000. According to a new report from Pike Research, cumulative sales of plug-in electric vehicles will reach 5.2 million units by 2017. Car Charging Group uses the forecast of 40 million plug-in electric vehicles on the road by 2030.