Charging Stations to Allow Electric Vehicle Drivers to Travel To Oregon and Mexico

The California Energy Commission approved funding for 61 DC fast chargers for electric vehicles to be built along major north/south highways in California. Once installed, the chargers will enable electric vehicle drivers to travel from the state’s southern border with Mexico to the state’s northern border with Oregon.

Most of the chargers will be located just off major thoroughfares: Interstate 5, U.S. 101, and State Highway 99. Many are located in disadvantaged communities close to amenities such as restaurants or shopping malls, where drivers can pick up food and goods while their vehicles charge in 20 to 30 minutes.

At the April 13 business meeting, $8.9 million in funding was approved for four companies to install the chargers, which also will include 41 level 2 chargers, with charge times ranging from four to eight hours for a full charge. The companies receiving the funds are Chargepoint, Inc., EV Connect, Inc., NRG EV Services, LLC., and Recargo, Inc.

While metropolitan areas have privately-funded chargers, rural areas have not succeeded in attracting chargers, especially along major highways. That is why the Energy Commission offered funding as an incentive to companies to fill the gap.

The Energy Commission has provided nearly $40.7 million in funding through the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP)  for 7,490 chargers as of December 2015. A total of 120 fast chargers have been funded to date.

The Energy Commission supports Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s goal of reaching 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on California roads by 2025. To reach that goal, it is helping to fund infrastructure to encourage Californians to drive zero-emission vehicles.

The Governor’s Zero Emission Action Plan requires a path be identified to complete the West Coast Green Highway, with a goal of extending electric vehicle chargers from British Colombia to the Mexican border.

The grant agreements approved April 13 will install charging stations on Interstate 5 from the Oregon Border to Red Bluff, and from Sacramento to Santa Clarita, as well as in San Clemente in the south. Other chargers will be installed along Highway 99 from Sacramento to Wheeler Ridge, and along U.S. 101 between San Jose and Buellton.

Transportation is responsible for about 37 percent of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions, which warm the earth to unsustainable levels. The ARFVTP aims to transform the state’s types of fuel and vehicles to help it reach its climate goals.

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California Energy Commission

The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency created by the Legislature in 1974.
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