Sales of plug-in electric vehicles in California are projected to pass the 250,000 mark later this month. One reason the cars haven’t sold faster is a lack of sufficient charging stations. But that’s starting to change.
A new corridor of 30-minute fast-charge stations launched Monday in Northern California. When it’s fully operational next spring, it’ll include more than 20 locations between Monterey and Lake Tahoe.
Backers say the surge of charging stations will allow families to replace their gasoline cars with electric vehicles.
“There’s a great EV community in Sacramento, in Tahoe, in the Bay Area, and it connects all those through it and makes it a car that can truly replace gasoline,” says Tyson Eckerle with the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. “This project opens up a whole market, right? It allows people in plug-in electric vehicles, pure battery electric vehicles, to use one car to do everything they need to do.”
With electric vehicle sales growing, “it’s critical that we’re prepared,“ says California Energy Commissioner Janea Scott. “It’s critical that we have the infrastructure that helps support these vehicles so that people can drive them when they want, where they want to.”
The new charging corridor is a public-private partnership between California and the Japanese federal government, with Japanese companies like Nissan providing the start-up capital.
Eckerle says no federal funds are involved in this project, so it won’t be affected by the transition of power to a Trump administration.