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San José Set to Receive Up to $14 Million for Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure

Funding would help meet demand from San José’s rapid electric vehicle adoption, improve air quality, and fight climate change.

Post Date:10/22/2019

San José, Calif. – San José Clean Energy (SJCE) is partnering with the California Energy Commission (CEC) to fund an incentive project for the installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in public, workplace, and multi-family housing locations. The CEC proposes to allocate $10 million for San José, with the City Council voting today on SJCE matching $4 million, for a total of up to $14 million to be disbursed over the next two to four years. 

This investment would result in approximately 100 new Direct Current Fast Charging (DCFC) stations and 1,400 new Level 2 charging stations. DCFC, or “supercharging,” stations can charge a vehicle to 80% in 20-30 minutes, while Level 2 chargers provide 20-40 miles of charge per hour. 

“We’re grateful to the California Energy Commission for their partnership, as we invest with them to double the number of electric car chargers available to San José residents,” said San José Mayor Liccardo. “It’s important to recognize, though, that we won’t win our battle against climate change by merely building a city for Tesla’s; that’s why we’re simultaneously exploring how we can use rebates, car-sharing platforms, and other tools to make electric cars accessible to our least affluent families, so that everyone in San José can benefit from cleaner air.”

Making charging stations ubiquitous helps spur further EV adoption. Since transportation is the leading source of emissions in Silicon Valley, encouraging electric vehicles can go a long way in supporting California’s climate goals.

Incentive funding would cover most of the charging station installation costs as well as the electrical infrastructure upgrades needed to install the charging stations. Low-income and disadvantaged communities would receive additional incentive funding. SJCE staff have recommended to the CEC to structure the funding such that at least 25% of the charging stations be installed in these communities. 

“Because of these funds, residents can look forward to increased availability of EV charging,” said Lori Mitchell, Director of San José Clean Energy. “Adding charging options in convenient locations will make EVs accessible for those unable to charge at home. This in turn will support a continued increase in EV adoption, improving local air quality for everyone, especially those living along busy roads and freeways.”

San José’s allocation is part of a larger regional investment from the CEC’s California Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project (CALeVIP) that could see up to $60 million invested in new EV charging infrastructure in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. SJCE worked collaboratively with four local government energy agencies – Silicon Valley Clean Energy, Peninsula Clean Energy, Silicon Valley Power (City of Santa Clara), and City of Palo Alto Utilities – to apply for the CEC funding.

Operated by the Community Energy Department, SJCE is the City’s Community Choice Energy program. Through Community Choice, local governments like the City of San José buy electricity from cleaner sources, while the investor-owned utility (PG&E, for San José) continues to distribute the electricity, maintain the powerlines, respond to power outages, and provide billing. 

SJCE offers two service options. GreenSource, its default option, includes 45% renewable energy from solar and wind and is 80% carbon-free overall. San José’s Climate Smart goal is to make GreenSource 100% carbon-free by 2021. For a small premium, customers can upgrade to TotalGreen to power their home or business with 100% renewable energy.

As a government agency, SJCE reinvests operational surpluses back into the community through lower rates and programs that further reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote equity.

The incentive project would launch in spring 2020, and funds would be available for two to four years. Businesses, non-profits, and public agencies would apply for the funding, install the charging station(s), and then receive a rebate for a portion of the costs according to project guidelines. The CEC selected the non-profit Center for Sustainable Energy to administer and promote the project. 

For more information about electric vehicles and the incentive program, visit SanJoseCleanEnergy.org/ev.

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Media Contact:
Chloe Meyere, Office of Mayor Liccardo; 408-535-4833 or chloe.meyere@sanjoseca.gov
Zachary Struyk, Deputy Director, Account Management and Marketing; 408-535-4868 or zachary.struyk@sanjoseca.gov

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