California is already an electric vehicle leader, but it is looking to become much more of one. The California Energy Commission (CEC) has put out a $6-million competitive grant solicitation aimed at jacking up EV infrastructure in the Golden State. Green Car Congress has more details:
Destination Charging: This category is for destinations that may attract people to travel “medium-to-long” distances from their home and where the vehicle would tend to be parked for more than one hour. Urban sites that fit into this category include airports, metropolitan centers, and transit areas. Other destinations include lakes, beaches, amusement parks, and other sites that encourage people outside of the surrounding area to visit.
Corridor Charging: Corridor charging gives existing and prospective electric vehicle owners the assurance that they can charge when driving long distances along a freeway or highway. These chargers should also be able to support the needs of local electric vehicle owners. Examples include charging locations that would allow drivers of electric vehicles to more rapidly travel between San Diego and the Los Angeles area, the Los Angeles area and the San Francisco Bay Area, the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento, Sacramento and Fresno, etc.
Workplace Charging: Workplace charging may provide an alternative to residential charging for consumers that may not have residential charging available. Additionally, workplace charging may allow for more vehicle miles to be traveled using electricity. For purpose of this solicitation, workplaces must be located within a 50-mile concentric ring from an urban area.
Multi-Unit Dwellings: Multi-unit dwellings (MUDs) include a broad range of building complexes, from condominiums to high-rise apartments. MUDs may have parking associated with each unit, or parking only available through commercial lots in close proximity to the complex. This solicitation will fund MUD electric vehicle charging case studies and demonstration projects.
There’s no denying that increased EV infrastructure will increase the sale and use of electric vehicles. Even for those who don’t need the infrastructure — who always charge at existing home or work — the growing presence of EV chargers will help to increase visibility and the sense that electric vehicles are getting popular and “you should jump in.”
But the portion of this $6 million EV infrastructure grant that most excites me is the multi-unit dwelling part. I think there is a critical need for EV chargers at multi-unit dwellings. Home charging is generally the most convenient, and as long is it takes awhile for EVs to charge, it’s important to have chargers at the location in which people spend the most time — home. I have seen multiple people living in MUDs say that they would like to get an electric car but they don’t have the possibility to charge at home. This is a big market, and one that actually needs the special infrastructure.
Overall, it’s wonderful to see California working continuously to improve its plug-in electric car market.
Also highly recommended: California Enacts Six New Laws Encouraging EV Ownership