For Immediate Release: June 24, 2010
Media Contact: Susanne Garfield - 916-654-4989


Electric Cars, Alternative Fuels Get Big Push with $114.3 Million
in State, Federal and Private Funds

SACRAMENTO - California drivers soon will be able to find charging stations for their electric cars, or fueling stations for their ethanol-powered vehicles. The California Energy Commission yesterday approved three awards that leverage $15.4 million in state funding with $49.6 million in federal stimulus money and $49.3 million in private funds.

"California's investment will leverage more than six times as much money for new infrastructure and new jobs, and help to solve one of the biggest problems with alternative-fueled vehicles - making sure motorists have ready access to fuel, including electricity," said Energy Commissioner Anthony Eggert. "By taking this bold step, state and federal government, along with the private sector, are advancing new technology and collecting important information that will help America replace petroleum and reduce pollution."

A $8 million grant with Electric Transportation Engineering Corp. (ETEC), in conjunction with Nissan, will establish up to 1,000 residential chargers, 1,300 commercial chargers, and 60 Level 3 fast chargers for electric vehicles in San Diego County. Nissan will deploy 1,000 of its new Leaf electric cars; once the infrastructure and vehicles are in place, ETEC, the local utility, and other technical partners will collect data on the effectiveness of the technology and the impact of electric vehicles on the local grid. For the project, the Energy Commission will provide $8,000,000 from the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, established in 2007 by Assembly Bill 118. The US Department of Energy will provide $39,350,127 in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Additional match funding of $32,572,007 will come from the project's participants.

The 1,000 Nissan Leaf vehicles are expected to save more than 1.7 million gallons of gasoline and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 5,000 tons of CO2 per year over the term of the project. The project is expected to spur the deployment of 242,000 Nissan electric cars by 2015, encourage other electric vehicle manufacturers like participant Zipcar, and create an estimated 153 jobs in California.

A second grant of $3,417,000 to Coulomb Technologies will provide 1,667 networked electric vehicle charging stations to the San Francisco, Sacramento and Los Angeles regions. The federal government is providing $3,354,000 in ARRA funding, while other partners are providing $508,000 in match funding. The three-city recharging station project should displace 500,000 gallons of gasoline a year and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2,500 tons of CO2 annually.

A third grant of $ 4 million will help to make the low-carbon, domestically-produced, ethanol-based fuel E-85 available to more Californians. To build 75 publicly accessible E-85 dispensers throughout the state, California's Department of General Services, the nation's largest fleet of state-owned vehicles, is joining with Propel Fuels, Inc., an alternative fuel supplier on the West Coast; the East Bay Clean Cities Coalition, a "grassroots" volunteer organization promoting petroleum reduction projects; CALSTART, a member-supported organization advocating high-tech, clean transportation alternatives; and the Local Conservation Corps of California. The Energy Commission is supplying $4,000,000 in AB 118 funds for the E-85 project, while the Department of Energy is providing $6,917,000 in stimulus funding. The project's participants will supply an additional match of $16,260,371.

The new E-85 dispensers should reduce petroleum use by over 24 million gallons annually and reduce emissions by an estimated 170,000 tons per year. This project will create or retain over 450 jobs while creating opportunities in at least 18 of California's Enterprise Zones.

Assembly Bill 118 (Núñez, Chapter 750, Statutes of 2007) created the California Energy Commission's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program. The statute, subsequently amended by Assembly Bill 109 (Núñez, Chapter 313, Statutes of 2008), authorizes the Energy Commission to develop and deploy alternative and renewable fuels and advanced transportation technologies to help attain the state's climate change policies.

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