Balboa Park gets ten charging stations to launch first publicly available locations in San Diego
With the requisite politicos and dignitaries present, San Diego finally saw some publicly available charge stations announced by the EV Project. Colin Reed, VP of Product Development with ECOtality had this to say “Having 1,000 commercial chargers up by the end of this year will make San Diego one of the most robust charging environments, if not the most robust charging environment, in all the world”. ECOtality is the project manager for the EV Project which is slated to have over 14,000 Level 2 charging stations installed across 18 cities in six states and the District of Columbia.
Jim Avery, Senior Vice President with San Diego Gas & Electric said “With the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, one of the things you may not know is sitting on the rooftop there is enough solar power being generated by the solar cells we installed about four years ago to power every car in this lot”. Someone had counted the cars, and while the number changed a bit throughout the morning, at one point there were as many as 49 electric vehicles (EVs) present – mostly LEAFs as seen in the photo above. Mr. Avery owns a LEAF and said that the energy cost of operating his personal LEAF is about 75% less than the gasoline cost of his previous vehicle. He also said that in San Diego “We have over 13,000 rooftops with solar electric sitting on top of them, right now, producing power”. We think that this information is tremendously under-reported in the mainstream press – the rate at which individuals are incorporating solar power into their own households. More importantly, based on information provided by the U.S. Department of Energy, almost two thirds of the United States offers very good to excellent solar resource potential.
Jerome Stocks, Deputy Mayor of Encinitas also made some remarks. Mr. Stocks travels “1,200 miles roughly a month and so far the (electricity) bill hasn’t exceeded $35 for the month” to charge his car. Rates vary from one electricity provider to another, but clearly, at least in San Diego currently, the cost of operating an EV on a day-to-day basis is dramatically less than a conventional gasoline-powered vehicle.
An interesting side note on the day – the first gasoline powered American car was built and road tested in 1893. The first gas station didn’t come along until 1905. At least we won’t have to wait twelve years for our infrastructure to start being built. In addition to the three charging stations installed in the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center parking lot, seven more are installed in front of the San Diego Air & Space Museum. ECOtality has now installed publicly available charging stations in Arizona, Oregon, Washington and Tennessee, in addition to these facilities in San Diego.