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USA: RP installs free charging station

In an effort to meet a state mandate, the city of Rohnert Park has recently installed its very first electric vehicle charging station located in the City Center Plaza.

“It’s like building gas stations when cars were starting to first hit the road. This is an important, important component because without these (stations) the use of electric vehicles is nonexistent,” said John McArthur of the Rohnert Park Public Works Department. “You have to have these stations set up just like gas stations.”

The newly installed charging station will not be fully operational for public use until sometime in January, so the city must complete one more leg in its journey in order to meet environmental goals.

“We are still working on some of the administrative components. It is almost ready to be used,” McArthur said.

The new electric charging station, located in the parking lot near the Rohnert Park-Cotati Library, was fully funded by a Sonoma County grant program run through the ChargePoint America Energy Grant Program. The grant includes installation and purchase cost fully paid, a two-year warranty, Coulomb Technology’s ChargePoint Network Subscription, access to Coulomb’s EV charging network, and to collect and manage user fees according to the City of Rohnert Park.

“The purchase and installation of this unit was free, and paid for by a grant. We (city) also have a two-year subscription to the Coulomb firm to manage the financial transactions of the charge stations,” McArthur explained.

The $37 million ChargePoint America program is made possible by a $15 million grant funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the Transportation Electrification Initiative administered by the Department of Energy. ChargePoint charging stations are available in designated regional metropolitan areas of the United States, according to the Coulomb Technologies Web site. Coulomb Technologies is located in Campbell.

Coulomb’s ChargePoint Network, is open to all drivers of plug-in vehicles and provides authentication, management, and real-time control for the networked electric vehicle charging stations.

“It will interface will different maps and apps,” McArthur said. “There will be a map showing where electric charging stations are.”
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