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
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