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Calif. panel approves funds for electric vehicle chargers

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Calif. panel approves funds for electric vehicle chargers

The CaliforniaEnergy Commission approved nearly $9 million in grants to install direct-currentcharging stations along three major transportation corridors. The commissionhad issued a solicitation for proposals to provide funding for projects to installDC fast-charging stations on Interstate 5, State Route 99 and U.S. Highway 101.

The grantsapproved April 13 will provide funding to Chargepoint Inc., EV Connect Inc., NRGEV Services LLC and Recargo Inc. to install 61 DC fast-charging stations at 41 sitesalong the north-south corridors. The commission said 40 sites also will have oneLevel 2 charger and one site will have two Level 2 chargers. Fast chargers allowvehicles to fully charge in 20 to 30 minutes, while Level 2 chargers allow mostvehicles to go from zero to full charge in four to eight hours, the commission said.

A goalof the commission's plug-in electric vehicle infrastructure strategy is to supporta goal of reaching 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on California roads by 2025,Thanh Lopez, a staff member in the Zero-Emission Vehicle and Infrastructure Officeof the commission's Fuels and Transportation Division, said during the commission'sbusiness meeting.

The governmentsof British Columbia, Canada, Washington, Oregon and California in 2013 agreed toa climate and energy action plan, part of which includes a commitment to transitionthe West Coast to clean modes of transportation. To support that effort, Washingtonand Oregon installed portions of the West Coast Electric Highway, a network of DCfast-charging stations located every 25 to 50 miles along Interstate 5 and othermajor roadways in the Pacific Northwest.

Californiais in the process of completing DC fast-charging on highway corridors through thecentral California region to the Mexican border, including the San Francisco BayArea and Los Angeles regions, Lopez said. Stations to be built with the grants willhelp close gaps between fast chargers in the Central Valley, extend the fast-chargingsystem to California's borders, and provide a secure network of interregional fastcharging on the state's north-sound corridors, Lopez said.

CommissionerJanea Scott said the commission wants to help support a network of charging stationsthat will enable electric vehicle owners to drive from British Columbia to Mexico.

The commissionon April 13 also approved $12.6 million in funding to the Natural Gas Vehicle IncentiveProject, which offers incentives for the purchase of natural gas vehicles. Grantsfor the chargers and the natural gas vehicle incentives are funded through the Alternativeand Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program.