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Redwood City to Get Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

The city received two grants of $40,000 total to eventually build stations in seven locations around the city.

The first Nissan LEAF, the first all electric vehicle in the Bay Area, was sold to a Redwood City man back in December of last year. Now, Redwood City is contributing seven electric charging vehicle stations to the Bay Area by the end of April, according to Public Works Director Evan Boyd.

The city knows that protecting the environment isnt always the easiest thing to do, but its the right thing to do, Boyd said. So we want to encourage Redwood City residents to be more environmentally conscious.

California has led the nation in green initiatives for the past few decades, with the Global Warming Solutions Act in 2006--which regulates greenhouse gas emissions--and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) of 1970, which requires all development projects to analyze potential environmental effects.

Now Redwood City is contributing to the green trend. The two stations in the Marshall Street Garage will feature a 110 voltage station and a 220 voltage station. The highest voltage station in existence is 440 volts, but Boyd said the garages electrical panel could only handle these two stations at that voltage. At 110 volts, a car will take up to 16 hours to charge, eight hours to charge at a 220 volt station and around four hours at a 440 volt station, according to Boyd.

Now people can charge their cars for a few hours while they catch a movie or visit our downtown area, Interim City manager Bob Bell said.

The city received a $20,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and another $20,000 grant from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (AQMD). In August 2010, the Air Quality Management District allocated $5 million for electric vehicle charging grants around the Bay Area, according to its press release. Both grants were contingent upon matching funds from the city, which the city was able to pull from their capital improvement funds.

Ultimately, the city will have seven locations for Redwood City residents to charge their cars. The other locations include:

    Municipal Service Center (Public Works Corporation Yard), 1400 Broadway
    Cinema parking garage on Jefferson Avenue
    Parking lot at the intersection of Middlefield Road and Winslow Street
    Red Morton Park Community Activities Building 1400 Roosevelt Ave.
    With the last two to be determined

Bell said that these future locations would be marked with Coming Soon: Charging Station signs.

"This is a great step forward it we're going to use electric cars," said Lou Covey, president of Sustainable Redwood City, a local organization that works to increase the health of the community. "It's not a chicken and egg thing, you've got to have both."

Boyd also saw these stations as a potential draw for people around the Bay Area.

This wil also bring in folks from other areas who need to charge their batteries, Boyd said. Redwood City becomes a destination location when people need to fuel up for the second half of the trip.

The Nissan LEAFs range when fully-charged is 85 miles, less than a roundtrip from San Francisco to San Jose.

But charging stations are just one component of the citys push towards greener lifestyles, Boyd said.

This is also why we transitioned to the new garbage provider, Recology, he said. The idea of single stream weekly recycling was very enticing.

Covey stated that the new provider allowed him to dispose of 90 percent less garbage each week.

"I can now compost the food scraps, drink containers and pizza boxes that I had to throw away before," he said.

Boyd listed other city initiatives in place to encourage "greener" practices. Street light retrofitting would involve less energy consumption with LED and induction lighting versus traditional lighting. The city also has green building ordinances which allow developers to get their deposits back if they can prove that they recycled products during the construction and demolition process.
Redwood City
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