For Immediate Release: April 11, 2012
Media Contact: Percy D. Della - 916-654-4989


Energy Commission Grant Prepares Monterey Bay Area for Electric Vehicles

A grant of $200,000 will boost the Monterey Bay Area's desire to become a greener and "worry-free" place for drivers of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs).

The grant was approved unanimously today by the California Energy Commission for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD). The BAAQMD will contract with Ecology Action (EA) to develop a plan for a network of PEV charging stations for use by local residents, workers and commuters in the Monterey Bay Area.

"The Monterey Bay area's PEV readiness plan will study people's travel and commute patterns," says Energy Commissioner Carla Peterman. "These factors are essential in placing charging stations where they are needed."

The plug-in network is also aimed at attracting visitors in PEVs who may visit Monterey and its many attractions but are constrained by the limitations of their battery range. Specifically targeted are visitors from the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California.

As part of this grant-funded project, Ecology Action will also promote the use of such vehicles in the Monterey Bay Area and streamline the permitting, installation and inspection of plug-in chargers.

A group of grass-roots, public and private stakeholders in the counties of Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz, the EA aims to promote the rapid adoption of PEV in the tri-county area to cut the use of fossil fuels and reduce air pollution. The alliance is likewise committed to developing strategically-located charging stations designed to relieve "range anxiety" that plug-in electric vehicle owners may experience.

The idea is to mount a well-coordinated, region-wide effort to develop PEV-ready infrastructure that would cover medium-size, smaller cities and unincorporated communities of the tri-county region. The region is a key transportation corridor along Highway 101 between Northern and Southern California and Highway 17 to the Silicon Valley.

The planning grant was approved by the Energy Commission today under its Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program mandated by law. Assembly Bill 118 provides the Commission a yearly outlay of $100-million to develop and deploy clean green vehicles, technologies and alternative fuels in support of California's climate change policies and goals.

Under the program, a total of $1.8 million in PEV planning grants have been awarded.

The California Air Resources Board recently unanimously approved regulations that require car manufacturers to cut smog emissions from new vehicles by 75 percent by 2025 and reduce greenhouse gases by 34 percent. To meet these goals, the number of plug-in battery electric vehicles in California is expected to double from current levels by 2013 and will reach 460,000 by 2020.

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