The California Energy Commission has approved nearly $9 million in grants for the installation of DC fast chargers along major state freeways and highways. These charging stations will allow electric vehicle (EV) drivers to travel from San Diego to the Oregon border without worrying about running out of energy. The funding was first proposed earlier this year.
The grants are going to the following four companies:
- Chargepoint Inc.;
- EV Connect Inc.;
- NRG EV Services LLC; and
- Recargo Inc.
These four companies will install a total of 61 DC fast chargers at 41 sites along major routes on Interstate 5, Highway 99 and Highway 101. Fast chargers allow vehicles to fully charge in 20 to 30 minutes; an additional 40 sites will have one Level 2 charger, and one site will have two Level 2 chargers. Level 2 chargers allow most vehicles to go from zero to full charge in four to eight hours.
Commissioners also approved an additional $12.6 million in funding for the Natural Gas Vehicle Incentive Project, which offers incentives for the purchase of natural gas vehicles (NGVs). This funding will help reduce the current wait list, as well as fund future applications, which is administered by the University of California, Irvine.
Last year, the Energy Commission allocated more than $11 million to recipients to purchase NGVs for use in California for at least three years. These incentives can help fleet managers replace aging gasoline and diesel vehicles with cleaner alternatives.
The grants for both the chargers and the NGV incentives are funded through the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVT). The ARFVT program aims to reduce California’s use and dependence on petroleum transportation fuels and increase the use of alternative and renewable fuels and advanced vehicle technologies.