San Francisco Bay Area Wants to Be EV Capital of the US

The San Francisco Bay Area launched a CEO-level "EV Strategic Council" to make it the "EV Capital of the U.S."

Their target is to have 100,000 electric vehicles (EVs) in the Bay Area by 2015.

"This is the beginning of a new era of strategic collaboration to build a low-carbon economy in the Bay Area. With nearly half of our greenhouse gas emissions coming from the transportation sector – and our regional economy extremely vulnerable to oil price hikes and supply disruptions – making sure this region leads on EV is absolutely essential," say executive officers of the Bay Area’s three largest regional agencies in a joint statement (Association of Bay Area Governments, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and Metropolitan Transportation Commission).

Led by the region’s big city Mayors, regional officials and clean tech industry executives, the Council is developing an electric vehicle infrastructure and announced series of grants and initiatives: 

  • $1.5 million from the California Energy Commission – supplemented by $2.5 million in local public and private funds – to install over 300 public EV chargers, including 19 "Fast Chargers" capable of recharging a Nissan Leaf in 20 minutes.
  • $700,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy, the California Energy Commission and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to complete regional EV Strategic Plans encompassing 12 counties in the San Francisco Bay and Monterey Bay regions.
  • Publication of Ready, Set, Charge, California! A Guide to EV-Ready Communities through a $625,000 grant administered by the Association of Bay Area Governments, the EV Communities Alliance, and the Bay Area Climate Collaborative to support Bay Area and South Coast cities in becoming "EV-ready."
  • $546,097 RFG settlement funding grant for an EV car sharing pilot program which City CarShare administered by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District covering the purchase of 10 new plug-in Toyota Prius vehicles and an outreach campaign to the members of City CarShare on the benefits of EV use.

Tesla and Coda are building EV factories in the area, and GM, BMW and Daimler are working on EVs and other R&D projects in Silicon Valley. 

The EV Strategic Council is working to align policies, programs and resources to accelerate EV penetration, with emphasis on 2012-2013 as a "tipping point" in the transition to electrified transportation.

Members include Marin Supervisor Steve Kinsey (co-chair), San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, the executive directors of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Association of Bay Area Governments, and senior executives from Tesla, PG&E, Coulomb Technologies, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, the California Energy Commission, Itron, ECOtality, City CarShare, Plug-in America, the Clean Cities Coalitions of the Bay Area and the Monterey Bay EV Alliance.

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