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Ramona Turner, Street Smarts: Who’s paying for free EV charging stations, reader asks

In last Thursday’s Street Smarts column about free parking and charging of the batteries of electric vehicles, Parking Program Manager Marlin Granlund said electricity cost are also subsidized as only a public utility can charge for power usage. Am I paying for this through a ‘fee’ on my vehicle registration or is it a ‘fee’ on my outrageous PG&E bill, or is it hidden somewhere else?

Terry L. Swinggi, via email

A The subsidized parking is paid for with money from the Downtown Parking Fund or the city’s general fund, depending on the location of the electric vehicle charger, Granlund said.

Giving some perspective on how many vehicles are using the free charging stations, Granlund said that in June and July of 2013, 91 electric vehicles charged up for a total of 415 kilowatts — or 63 hours of charging — at the cost of $87.


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