While San Francisco and Portland are each publicly claiming they’ll have the best electric vehicle networks in place in their cities, San Jose may be have made the most progress.
The city of San Jose has installed 7 charging stations so far, including spots at City Hall and a public parking garage. At the charging locations vehicle owners don’t pay for the power; instead they are charged based on the time in the parking spot. To simplify payment, EV owners get a keychain fob that’s connected to their credit card.
Klein’s office is also working with Fortune 100 companies to persuade them to install EV charging stations at employer sites. She is also in discussions with officials involved in building code enforcement and public works to streamline the permitting process for installing charging station equipment.
The city also wants the electricity to power the vehicles to be clean. The city recently announced an organic waste to energy plant, the first of its kind. As part of San Jose’s 15-year “Green Vision” plan, the city is moving to all renewable power.
San Jose benefits from the proximity of major players in the EV and charging world including Coulomb Technologies (which installed the charging stations), Tesla Motors, and Better Place.
With its large population of engineers, software developers and other higher-income residents, San Jose is likely to see one of the highest per-capita rates of PHEVs in the coming years. The city already sees strong sales of hybrid vehicles and the micro Smart cars.