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San Francisco Gives Electric Car Love, Starts “EV Council”

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First 2011 Nissan Leaf delivered to buyer, San Francisco, Dec 2010, photo by Eugene Lee

First 2011 Nissan Leaf delivered to buyer, San Francisco, Dec 2010, photo by Eugene Lee

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It’s a known fact that certain areas of the U.S. are better known for their love of the electric car than others, but San Francisco wants to go one better with a bid to become the electric car capital of the entire U.S.

In order to achieve this, elected official and local business leaders in the bay area have joined together to launch the EV Strategic Council, a workgroup designed to develop the infrastructure needed to facilitate and encourage mass-adoption of plug-in vehicles throughout the city. 

At its launch, the project announced it had received over $5 million in funding from various different public and private funds, including the U.S.Department of Energy, the California Energy Commission and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. 

As well as funding a total of 300 public charging stations -- incorporating 19 direct current rapid charging stations capable of recharging cars like the 2012 Nissan Leaf and 2012 Mitsubishi i to 80 percent full in under 30 minutes --  the $5 million funding will help establish an all-electric car-share scheme in the Bay area as well as fund education and awareness projects in neighboring counties. 

San Francisco skyline

San Francisco skyline

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One of the key launch markets for cars like the 2011 Nissan Leaf and 2011 Chevrolet Volt,  and with many older Toyota RAV4EVs on the road from the late 1990s, the San Francisco Bay area already has an active and vocal electric vehicle community.  As a consequence, it was San Francisco where Nissan made its first U.S. delivery of a 2011 Nissan Leaf.

San Francisco's love of electric cars is clear to see: Even visitors to the city can rent electric cars from major rental companies like Hertz and Enterprise.

The newly-announced funding should help encourage more residents to make the switch to electric cars, but as many electric car advocates will be keen to point out, the difference between a project and a plan is action. And in this case, that equates to seeing the installation of charging stations as well as a raising public awareness of electric cars. 

Toyota RAV4e electric vehicle, San Francisco, March 2010

Toyota RAV4e electric vehicle, San Francisco, March 2010

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Comments (2)
  1. Quite frankly, no one can make a plausible argument in favor of rushing to buy an electric car at this point in time. The numbers are so small and any environmental or oil dependency effects are so ridiculously tiny, that the best explanation for all this early adopter enthusiasm is "public image." Wait until batteries get cheaper, a lot cheaper, or buy a high end Tesla Model S if you must succumb to public pressure - at least you'd be getting a really fine car.
     
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  2. If everyone purchased cars on price vs utility there would be no market for luxury cars. I am glad there are so many people who are willing to pay a premium price for Volts, LEAFs, Teslas, Karmas, and soon to be many others. These are the people who will make it possible for battery prices to come down because of the savings by mass production. Battery prices will also come down due to advanced chemistry and processes, but even these are spurred along by observation of high demand.
     
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