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USA: Watsonville takes ‘step into the future’: New electric car charging station part of a growing network

WATSONVILLE — Next time you’re pumping $4-plus a gallon gas into your car, consider this: You could be charging up for free in downtown Watsonville.
Of course, you’ll need to invest in an electric vehicle to take advantage of the new Blink charging station on the 300 block of Main Street.
The station, celebrated at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday, is part of a drive to jolt people into going electric by ensuring they won’t run out of juice at a crucial moment.
“People right now have, let’s call it electric anxiety, that they won’t have enough electricity to get where they’re going,” said Richard Stedman of the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District.
Though a full charge can take four to six hours, with a network of stations throughout the region and state, people will be able to “top off” and extend the range of their vehicles while going about their normal routines, Stedman said.
The station is one of four installed on the Central Coast through a $50,000 grant from the air pollution district. The others are in Salinas, Hollister and Carmel. All represent the latest standard in electric vehicle charging.
Santa Cruz, which already has one in the parking garage at Soquel and Front streets, will add 11 more in coming months in its five parking garages thanks to a $110,000 grant from the air pollution district, said Cheryl Schmitt, a member of the Monterey Bay Electric Vehicle Alliance steering committee and city of Santa Cruz transportation coordinator,
“It’s growing so rapidly,” Schmitt said of the movement. “I see Leafs in Santa Cruz all the time. It’s pretty exciting.”


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