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USA: Palo Alto plugs into a greener future

An electric vehicle charging station hangs on a wall at the Palo Alto City Hall underground…

Electric vehicles look to factor heavily into Palo Alto’s efforts to curb local greenhouse gas emissions.

The city council last week green-lighted a slew of new guidelines for creating a public network of electric vehicle charging stations and promoting adoption of the emerging technology.

“The city of Palo Alto recognizes (electric vehicles) as an important part of the solution for reaching its greenhouse gas emission reduction goal, and so has an interest in encouraging the use of (electric vehicles) throughout the community,” Debra van Duynhoven, assistant to the city manager for sustainability, wrote in a report to council members.

“Progressive, early adopter residents and commuters are moving forward with (electric vehicle) purchases now. The city can further its sustainability goals by positioning itself to support these emerging technologies.”

Widespread adoption of electric vehicles would help Palo Alto reach its goal of slashing 2020 greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent below the 2005 baseline of 728,720 metric tons, according to the report.

Automobile-based commutes to, from, and within the city comprised 32 percent of emissions that year.

Between 3,000 and 10,000 electric vehicles will be seeking a fill up in the city by 2020, according to an assessment the Palo Alto Utilities Department based on a statewide California Energy Commission estimate.



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