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California electric car activists call for Gov. Brown’s signature on new EV-related laws | Torque News

Starting in 2014, electric car drivers will be able to fast-charge their vehicles at selected grocery stores in California. The South Coast Air Quality Management District is behind a $1.2 million project that will install 20 smart-grid enabled fast charging stations at grocery stores on freeway corridors.

“This project is important to Southern California because it will help create a viable DC fast charging network that will be accessible, convenient and affordable for plug-in electric vehicle drivers,” SCAQMD spokesperson Tina Cox told

The fast chargers will be installed at Albertsons and Ralph’s grocery stores in the South Coast Air Basin, which includes all of Orange County, and the urban portions of Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties. In April, grocery chain Kroger—which operates under the name Ralph’s in some locations—announced it would install 200 Level 2 chargers and 25 fast chargers at its stores at 125 locations in Phoenix, San Diego and Los Angeles, among others.

The new quick chargers, coming by virtue of SCAQMD, will include CHADeMO plugs and also the Society of Automotive Engineers so-called combo-plug if it is available when deployment begins in 2014, said Leslie Baroody, EV Program Manager at the California Energy Commission. The CEC is giving the SCAQMD a $300,000 grant towards the total cost of the project.

The Key: Dwell Time

“The main reason for grocery store charging infrastructure placement is because of parking availability, and driver dwell time consistent with the time it takes to charge and electric capacity is usually sufficient at these sites,” Baroody told

Fast charging can take as little as 20 minutes for drivers fueling up to about 80-percent of its battery pack’s capacity. It could take another 10 or 20 minutes to fill an electric car all the way up. Regardless, visits to a grocery store—depending on what you need to pick up and which register you choose—make a nice match for quick charge times. And, explaining the interest from grocery store chains, there’s evidence that shoppers stay longer in stores, and buy more, when they know their car is receiving juice.



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