San Francisco Will Juice Your Electric Car For Free

2011 Chevrolet Volt using Level 2 240-Volt charging station in Vacaville, California

2011 Chevrolet Volt using Level 2 240-Volt charging station in Vacaville, California

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The city of San Francisco, California, will install electric vehicle charging stations in publicly-owned garages and at San Francisco International Airport by the end of the year that drivers can use for free until 2013.

The plan involves dropping around 90 charging stations across the city in the hopes that it will encourage more residents to purchase electric cars and make them easier to use.

Charging stations are already scattered across the city — drivers can actually find out where they are through Google Maps.

The average cost to charge an electric car at a charging station is usually around $0.12 per kilowatt-hour — and most batteries carry a charge between 20 and 40 kilowatt-hours, meaning drivers will save around a whopping $3.

The charging stations are more beneficial for people who live outside the city and should actually encourage more electric car owners to make a commute into San Francisco. The stations will feature 110-volt and fast-charging 240-volt options — which can charge an electric car like the Nissan Leaf to an 80-percent charge in around 3 hours.

Scenes from dedication of electric-car charging station at Creekside Inn, Palo Alto, CA

Scenes from dedication of electric-car charging station at Creekside Inn, Palo Alto, CA

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So drivers can simply drop off their cars while they head off to work or visit the city, and return to have a near-full or full charge and make it back out of the city.

Most electric cars are typically limited in their range. The Nissan Leaf, one of the cheapest electric cars at $33,000, can travel around 100 miles before needing a charge.

Tesla Motors’ super-powered batteries last much longer, but the cars are significantly more expensive — the Roadster, for example, can travel around 200 miles but costs $109,000.

That company’s next car, a sedan called the Model S, will be less expensive and can travel up to 300 miles, but it will still be significantly more expensive than the Nissan Leaf.

Here are the garages in San Francisco that will feature free charging stations:

Civic Center garage

Ellis O’Farrell garage

Fifth & Mission garage

General Hospital garage

Golden Gateway garage

Japan Center garage

Lombard garage

Mission Bartlett garage

Moscone Center garage

North Beach garage

Performing Arts garage

Pierce Lombard garage

Polk Bush garage

Portsmouth Square garage

San Francisco International Airport garages

St. Mary’s Square garage

1600 Mission Street garage

Stockton Sutter garage

Union Square garage

Vallejo Street garage

This story, written by Matthew Lynley, was originally posted on VentureBeat's GreenBeat, an editorial partner of AllCarsElectric.

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Comments (7)
  1. Most excellent. All credit to SF.

  2. The charging is free. Is the parking free??

  3. I Live in sydney australia. I Visited SF 12 months ago, I will be moving to SF as soon as i get out of debt. CANT WAIT!

  4. THINK is failing. Most electric car companies are getting no sales. This proves that XP Vehicles predicted the market pain with 100% accuracy 12+ years ago. XP said that nobody will buy electric cars unless they can be powered without the need for infrastructure, an XP vehicle needs no charging infrastructure, and that the vehicles must cost under $25K, The XP vehicles start at $18,000.00. Every car company in Detroit attacked XP and hired lobbyists & politicians in DC to try to kill XP's factory funding but they only delayed it. XP is coming and the facts support their design over any other. Now the market facts have produced hundreds of studies that show that XP was right about everything they said!

  5. San Francisco, as usual,never thinks before spending their taxpayers' money. A 120V charging station is a total oxymoron - those fairly expensive stations, which require WAY more than 12 cents to provide a
    kilowatthour (once again, the enthusiasts are bending reality) are practically useless. Level 2 (240V) isn't much better. The number of cars these stations will be able to service per day is abysmally tiny - those stations will never pan out economically. Nor can they "encourage commuters" to drive EVs into the city, at last not very many, considering the fact that each of their pricey stations will handle but a few commuters. Now do you see why govts should be banned from making decisions about technological issues?

  6. #9 Kent - "The journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step" Maybe someday every stall in the parking garages will have a Level 2 outlet. Way cheaper than oil wars IMHO. If gas gets expensive enough, anything can happen.

  7. Level 1 chargers are kind of a waste, no?
    Besides, being that it's SF, these will be vandalized in record time.

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