SF, San Jose Roll Out Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

San Francisco and San Jose roll out vehicle charging stations Installation of Coulomb Technologies’ Smartlet Networked Charging Stations at San Francisco’s City Hall was completed last week, part of a two-year public demo and pilot project between the City and the emerging electric vehicle infrastructure provider.

The charging stations will be used to recharge the City of San Francisco’s fleet of plug-in and electric car-share vehicles.

Mayor Gavin Newsom unveiled the charging stations in a press conference with Coulomb CEO Richard Lowenthal during which the Mayor announced the city’s ‘Green Vehicle Showcase.’ Both are part of the Bay Area’s regional electric vehicle initiative.

“Our goal is to transform the Bay Area into the EV Capital of the United States, and a networked infrastructure is essential for the adoption of electric vehicles,” Mayor Newsom said in a news release. “San Francisco is proud to be the first city to feature charging stations with technology to support our city’s clean electric fleet vehicles and car-share fleets.”

The Epicenter of the EV Movement

“Today’s announcement further demonstrates that the Bay Area is the epicenter of the electric vehicle movement,” said Richard Lowenthal, CEO of Coulomb Technologies. “A smart, networked infrastructure is an essential enabler of this movement and the City of San Francisco is leading by example. The success and adoption of electric vehicles will require progressive leadership by drivers, utilities, governments, and businesses. We commend and thank the City and Mayor Newsom for welcoming EV’s to the San Francisco Bay Area.”

The Smartlet recharging stations are networked as part of an overarching management systems infrastructure called the ‘Chargepoint Network.’

The system’s ‘Fleet Management Portal’ includes features such as summaries of the number. type, location and status of vehicles being charged and vehicles due or overdue for charging, as well as interactive charts showing gasoline savings and the amount of greenhouse gas emissions avoided. A smartphone text messaging feature alerts electric vehicle drivers when their vehicles need charging, when they are fully charged and when charging is interrupted.

Coulomb rolled out its first ChargePoint Network last month in downtown San Jose, part of that city’s ‘Green Mobility’ program.

“2009 is the year of the emergence of smart electric vehicle charging infrastructure,” Lowenthal commented.

Electric vehicle owners who subscribe to the ChargePoint Network receive a smart card that allows them to charge their vehicles at any SmartLet Charging Station. Subscribers can locate charging stations by visiting www.chargepoint.net and clicking on ‘Find Stations’.

Andrew Burger
Andrew Burger
A product of the New York City public school system, Andrew Burger went on to study geology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, work in the wholesale money and capital markets for a major Japanese bank and earn an MBA in finance.

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  1. Charging electric cars by burning coal. It’s all smoke and mirros. Not to mention when the batteries don’t hold a good charge, what do we do with tons of lead acid batteries?

    • Hey Nick, thanks for the comment. I agree that the electric grid is a serious issue, but I’d counter that just because the grid is predominately powered with coal and other fossil fuels, that doesn’t preclude making changes to electrify transportation. The fact is that the grid will have to change to renewable sooner or later (hopefully sooner) and to ascribe it as merely “smoke and mirrors” is just a little pessimistic.
      In any case, any movement away from foreign oil is a good thing, and the more plug-in vehicles penetrate the market, the more incentive there is to transform the grid.
      Nobody said this would be easy, but innovation must move forward or nothing will change.
      Business as usual simply isn’t an option.


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