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Santa Clarita eyes more support for electric cars

Posted: January 22, 2014 6:22 p.m.
Updated: January 22, 2014 6:22 p.m.

SANTA CLARITA - The number of electric vehicles on the road has steadily risen in recent years, leading officials to look for ways to build up public charging infrastructure that can handle the increasingly popular brands.

Since 2012, sales of electric vehicles have surged, meaning there are more cars on the road that can’t be refueled simply by looking for the next gas station off the freeway.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. expects 800,000 electric vehicles to be on state roads by 2020 — there are only 20,000 now — creating a high demand for charging stations.

Currently, there are about 5,000 public and workplace charging stations in California and 20,000 nationwide.
Santa Clarita is home to some charging stations that can serve electric cars, according to city spokeswoman Gail Morgan.

For example, one charger is located in a parking garage near the Hyatt Regency Valencia on Town Center Drive. Another is located at the Kohl’s department store on Golden Valley Road.

“The city is exploring some grant opportunities and the upcoming budget in an effort to add more public charging stations,” Morgan said.

The issue of charging infrastructure is more pressing in areas where electric cars are more prevalent. In the Silicon Valley, for instance, some companies say they have been unable to provide enough chargers for all their employees that drive electric cars.

ChargePoint, which operates a large EV-charging network, says companies should provide one charging port for every two of their employees’ electric vehicles.

“Having two chargers and 20 electric cars is worse than having no chargers and 20 electric cars. If you are going to do this, you have to be willing to continue to scale it,” said Pat Romano, CEO of ChargePoint.

Adding chargers can be expensive, especially at sites where companies are leasing space and don’t want to invest in permanent charging infrastructure.



UsualSuspect: Posted: January 22, 2014 8:27 p.m.

If the City wants them, let someone donate them, and make sure the taxpayers don't end up footing the bill for the electricity and maintenance. All of them should have a credit card slot, or a way for them to accept paper currency to cover the true cost of operating them.

bartman: Posted: January 23, 2014 7:49 a.m.

Edison and the city is missing a huge opportunity that Tesla and ChargePoint has already identified. Revenue streams for mobile power is at a all time demand. At home most electric vehicle owners claim that the car only increased their bill by $30.00 but because the car manufactures are still subsidizing the cost of the cars, they are not putting larger batteries into them and have created this demand. Extending a commuter car to a weekend getaway car will be done when Edison and the city work together to create POS quick charge stations and now that they will have huge electric billboards on highways, they can place unsold advertising of charge stations in shopping centers, by restaurants and hotels. Locally they can supplied the electric drug to: Laptop/Tablets, Cell Phones, and Music Players. Since they also have limited capacity and a quick charge system or standard exchangeable mobile power source could be just what the addicts need.

ricketzz: Posted: January 24, 2014 6:16 a.m.

People need to give up on personal autos. The numbers don't work. We cannot sustain billions of personal cars; they will destroy the world trying. Trains rule.

gdc1964: Posted: March 19, 2014 3:51 p.m.

There is actually only one public Level 2 charging station in Santa Clarita, and that's at the Kohl's on Golden Valley. Level 2 chargers run on 220V and can charge most EV's in a couple hours while drivers shop. The charging station at the Hyatt Regency is actually a public 110V outlet, which takes up to 10 hours or longer to charge an EV. Great if you're staying at the hotel, but not an efficient alternative for EV drivers on the go. Currently there are no DC fast chargers (That can charge an EV in as little as 20 minutes) anywhere near the SCV...disappointing.

The only other 220V Level 2 charging station is at Nissan of Valencia, and they typically are reserved for Nissan Leafs only.

Chargepoint stations are set to accept payment for charging EVs (Although the one at Kohl's is free for shoppers). EV owners register for an account, and a TAP card is issued. They can also initiate a charge via their smartphone by using the Chargepoint app. --edited.

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