Bay Area Putting Large Stake In Electric Vehicles

Political and business leaders in California's Bay Area have established an executive forum called the EV Strategic Council that will help expedite the development of electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure in the region.

During the council's first meeting, held this week at San Francisco City Hall, elected officials and corporate executives announced more than $5 million in new funding to support the initiative.

The California Energy Commission (CEC) is directly investing $1.5 million, supplemented by $2.5 million in local public and private funds, to install more than 300 new public EV chargers. Another $700,000 is coming from the CEC, U.S. Department of Energy and Bay Area Air Quality Management District to complete regional EV strategic plans for 12 local counties. Other funds will support a car-sharing pilot program and various consumer-outreach initiatives.

‘By reaching our target of 100,000 EVs in the Bay Area by 2015, drivers will save over $200 million a year that can be re-invested in local jobs, and vehicle emissions will be reduced by nearly 80% compared to conventional cars,’ said Steve Kinsey, Marin County Supervisor and co-chair of the council.

Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed are among the civic leaders taking part in the new group. Corporate support is coming from companies such as Pacific Gas & Electric Co., Tesla, Coulomb Technologies, Itron and ECOtality.

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