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USA: Ecotality Confirms Locations for Bay Area’s First Electric Car Fast Chargers

he San Francisco Bay Area is one of the nation’s most vibrant places for electric cars. And yet, during this past year, Bay Area’s EV owners have been lacking spots for DC Quick Charging—480-volt charging locations where an electric car can go from an empty battery to 80% full in 20 – 30 minutes. According to an email I received today from Jason Smith, Ecotality’s Northern California area manager, that could change as early as next month, when DC Fast Chargers will be installed in Belmont and San Ramon.

“We haven’t installed any DC Fast Charge units in the Bay Area yet,” writes Smith, “But I have signed contracts with the Volkswagen Electronics Research Lab in Belmont, and Sunset Development (Bishop Ranch) in San Ramon. Both of these will be installed sometime in January depending on the permitting.” The installation of these Quick Chargers could open up the entire Bay Area for daily EV excursions—to and from San Francisco, Marin, the East Bay, and South Bay.

“This is a terrific development welcomed by all EV owners in the Bay Area,” said Howard Clearfield, who leads the Bay Area’s Nissan LEAF owners group. “It will extend the practical range of round-trip travel to a region stretching from Santa Rosa, or maybe even Napa Valley, to Santa Cruz.” He said that LEAF owners will continue to work with Ecotality to help locate additional Quick Charge station locations throughout the area. “These stations will allow more people to adopt EVs into their active lifestyle, and thereby take gas-burning vehicles off the road.”
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