Drivers can power up at Tracy Transit station
by Glenn Moore
Mar 28, 2014 | 6578 views | 8 8 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend | print
EV charger at Tracy Transit Station
A new dual port electric vehicle charging station is available for use free of charge at the Tracy Transit Station.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Electric car drivers can now charge their vehicles while they visit downtown Tracy stores and restaurants using a new charging station in the parking lot of the Tracy Transit Station, 50 E. Sixth St.

The electric vehicle charging station, made by Chargepoint, is a 240-volt, Level 2 charger with two ports to allow two electric-powered vehicles to be charged simultaneously.

Ed Lovell, a management analyst for the public works department, said plans for the charging station were initially made when the transit station was built four years ago. The decision to install the charge station in late February +the rise in popularity of electric vehicles on the roadway.

“Four years ago, electric cars were not that popular,” Lovell said. “Over the past couple of years with electric cars getting more popular, including the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf, we decided to put it in.”

The charging station cost $11,000, which was paid through Transportation Development Act funds.

Drivers can charge their electric vehicles free of charge any time, any day of the week at the transit station.

Lovell said that in nearly four weeks, there have been 11 charging sessions lasting an average of two hours each session.

Because each car model is different and the charge time varies with the amount of energy left in the battery, Lovell said there isn’t a set amount of time required to charge an electric vehicle. The average time for a car could be up to four hours. Lovell said there was no limit on how long a car could be plugged into the charger at the transit station.

The pilot program hopes to give electric vehicle owners a convenient place to charge.

“It’s a good location — you can plug in your car and then go do things in downtown while it’s charging,” Lovell said.

Use of the charging station is at no cost for a year while the city staff charts the use and power demand of the charger. At that point, Lovell said the staff will discuss options which include a fee for use of the charger or installing more chargers in the city.

Lovell said research on fees asked by other nearby municipalities and in the Bay Area for charging stations ranged from up to $2 an hour for a time-based fees to 49 cents a kilowatt-hour for energy-used fees.

The transit station’s electric vehicle charger joins two other charging stations listed as being in Tracy on various electric vehicle websites. Tracy Nissan, 3195 N. Naglee Road, has three Level 2 chargers, and MCH Electric Warehouse, 4923 W. 11th St., has two Level 2 chargers but requires a card key for use.

• Contact Glenn Moore at 830-4252 or gmoore@tracypress.com.

 
Comments
(8)
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jay5729
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March 28, 2014
Proud to see that Tracy is helping to promote electric vehicle use and energy independence from oil producing countries. I have used this station a few times to charge up my new electric Chevy. I also registered it as a public station on plugshare.com and recargo.com. It's a great location, and it will be great if electric car owners traveling through the valley stop to plug in for a while and use that time to visit downtown Tracy businesses.

Nice work Mr. Lovell.
Sero7
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March 28, 2014
Interesting. So is the city punishing us fuel driven vehicle owners because we don't have an electric vehicle? I wasn't aware that the city I live in is in the business of supplying owners of electric vehicles free electricity to operate there vehicles. Is the city going into the gas stations business as well? I assume they are or are they discriminating against us gasoline car owners. This is so typical of this city wasting money on things that are not necessary. This is likely a pet project of someone in the city that's trying to pander to a certain group of people, or are they taking money from the company Chargepoint for putting this in? I don't understand how they have money for this free perk to those who drive an electric vehicle, but yet I cannot get the city to even take care of the landscaping in the area that I live in! Maybe they could have taken that $11,000 and mowed the lawns along the streets once in a while. Oh stay tuned for the opening of the new City owned "Tracy Free Gas Station".
brucedp
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March 29, 2014
I've heard the 'free gas' comments before from persons who don't have enough knowledge of plugins (the term covers both EVs & plug-in-hybrids) and or have been filled with hate by media outlets "paid" to stir emotions against plugins.

The 'free for the 1st year' Electricity is a Fed. Gov. requirement for the discounted cost of installing the plugin charging equipment (EVSE). The electricity costs are pennies when compared to the savings the city is getting in that EVSE installation deal. This is not a new thing, and many cities across the U.S. have used it.

All cities wisely monitor electricity usage over that year of being free, and then when they can start applying a use-fee to the EVSE, that cost to the driver is high enough to cover the electricity cost of previous 1st year being free.

EVSE brings business to the city, as drivers spend money while they wait for a charge. Which means more tax revenue to the city (a good thing).

There are huge multimillion dollar forces against giving the public an alternative to driving a fuel car. These short term incentives entice 1st time buyers. Many EVSE that were free, now cost to use.

{brucedp.150m.com}
1resident
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March 30, 2014
Sero7-

You nailed it in referencing the city's ability to fund these, ridiculous "pet" projects, while the image of our town continues to deteriorate under an inept government that overpays it administrators but can't pay someone to fire up a mower and and edger where it's needed on a regular basis. This town has not progressed, it's gone backwards the last 10 years and it's primarily the fault of the disingenuous Dolts that have been elected to run it. It actually started with Bilbrey.
drywallj
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March 28, 2014
When I first read the article Drivers can power up at Tracy Transit station my first thought was "Hey wait a sec, I'm funding as a tax payer in Tracy people who drive electric cars". does anybody else find something wrong with this? I recently purchased in Tracy a new Honda which dosn't get the millage of a Chevy volt but does pretty well at almost 38mpg, but nobody pays my Chevron bill when I fill it up. Question to Mr. Lovell the management analyst. Where do you think the power comes from to charge these electric cars and do you think its free? If yes then put a gas pump there for people who cant afford the high price of a new Chevy Volt or any of the new electric cars. Better yet put our last city managers city credit card on top of the charger and they can go over to Helms for a nice dinner and brew while waiting for the free charge on us tax payers.
CharlieWaffles
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March 28, 2014
Can the city build a pump for unleaded gas next free
Wobbley
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April 03, 2014
I'm wondering why we still call it unleaded gas, since leaded gas was phased out 30 years ago.

Kinda like sugar free coffee.
DunkMan
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April 03, 2014
Wobbley,

Leaded fuel is still available.

The City likely sells a million dollars worth of leaded fuel every year and our family probably buys about two thousand gallons of it from them.

Steve


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