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Press Contact: Pamela Embry, Public Information Officer, (510) 981-2480

New Pilot Program to Help Berkeley Businesses Set-Up Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Berkeley, California (Thursday, February 07, 2013) - The City of Berkeley welcomes businesses interested in providing electric vehicle charging stations to apply to a newly launched Non-Residential Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) Charging Station Pilot Program. The Pilot Program makes it easier to install PEV charging equipment by providing a clear pathway and streamlined permitting for existing non-residential property owners to install charging stations at their business' parking lots or garages. In addition, a new federal tax extension now allows 30% of the cost of installed charging stations to be taken as a tax credit, up to a total credit of $30,000 for businesses. By installing charging stations, businesses provide a service and convenience to their customers and employees, and in doing so, help the community meet its Climate Action Plan goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 33% below year 2000 levels by the year 2020. 

Any existing non-residential property in a commercial or manufacturing district with off-street parking can participate in this Pilot Program. The Pilot Program offers staff guidance and a coordinated, low-cost procedure for obtaining City of Berkeley permits. Program participants have flexibility in the type and use of charging stations they select while meeting requirements for disabled access, safety, and signage. The Pilot Program is currently accepting applications through December 31, 2014. If you are interested in participating, please review the information available at www.cityofberkeley.info/EVchargingpilot.

In California, driving an electric vehicle rather than a conventional gasoline-powered car reduces the greenhouse gas emissions associated with its travel by about 70% as well as eliminates toxic air pollutants from the tailpipe. As a result, the Berkeley Climate Action Plan supports the use of electric cars along with public transit, bicycling, and walking, as more sustainable transportation modes. 

Plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) use rechargeable batteries which are charged through an external electric power source like a charging station. PEVs entered mainstream markets in December 2010; as of December 2012, over 63,000 PEVs had been sold nationwide with nearly 40% of the total in California. Most electric vehicle owners give their car batteries a full charge at home, but having access to a variety of charging stations in convenient locations allows drivers to add a little power on the go and extend the range of their vehicles. 

This Pilot Program complements other actions the City of Berkeley has taken to spur electric vehicle adoption including: the development of a permit guide for residential PEV charging systems,  an on-going assessment of municipal property for charging station feasibility, and the addition of a public PEV station at the Center Street Garage.



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