News


New electric vehicle charging stations turned on at Civic Center, 2 other locations

City government offers free charging through April 1

New charging stations for electric cars were turned on Monday at a public "uncovering" ceremony at the Pleasanton Civic Center.

These are the first municipally operated charging stations to become operational in the East Bay. General Motors representative Shad Balch, who works on environmental policy initiatives, demonstrated how to use the three charging stations in front of the Civic Center, using his mother's Chevrolet Volt at the ceremony.

Three of the chargers, which look much like parking meters, have been installed in the parking lot near the entrance to the Civic Center. Another one is located in the back parking lot of the Museum on Main, 603 Main St., which is accessible off Division Street, and the fifth stand-alone charging station is at the west side of the Pleasanton Senior Center, 5353 Sunol Blvd.

The charging stations are funded through the federal government's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and Coloumb Technologies.

Each of the commercial grade Level Two EV charging stations is valued at $3,000-$4,000. They can fully charge a vehicle in three to eight hours.

The city government is offering free vehicle charges through Sunday, April. 1. Starting April 2, those using the chargers will have to pay to use them with a credit card, but the charging fee has yet to be determined.

--Kathleen Martin, Jeb Bing

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mike Hughes
a resident of Downtown
on Jan 20, 2012 at 8:26 am

We recently purchased a Chevy Volt electric car for our delivery vehicle for Baci and Cafe Main. The driving factors were environmental and also how nice the Volt performs. To those who are considering, it's one of the best cars I've ever driven. Been averaging 80 miles to the gallon since we purchased two months ago. I would like to thank Pleasanton for being so forward thinking in providing the charge stations that happen to be blocks from our downtown businesses for free to this point and have no issues paying the fares going forward. I believe you will experience more users over time by investing and promoting charge stations. What a great job!

Mike Hughes


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Not subsidized
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 20, 2012 at 8:46 am

I would say all the local taxpayers should have a voice in the rate. I certainly do not intend, and will not, subsidize anybody that's sucking my electric power. So on a hot day, my AC shuts off, or because of the power drain, I pay the highest tier on my bill, or we have a blackout ? that's not a plan...
Please, Voltie, don't pretend it's about 'environment' when you are sucking off very dirty, dirty, electric power plants. Have you campaigned for nuclear power, so there would be abundant, all-clean, carbon-free supply? Definitely on this subject the cart is before the horse. Sufficient clean power first, then cars ! Until we have abundant, clean nuclear, I think elec cars should come with their own built-in solar system, not taking off my neighborhood residential grid.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dan
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jan 20, 2012 at 9:16 am

I am constantly amazed that individuals think a subsidy is "free", even if temporary.

That federal program didn't get funding magically. Our tax $'s are being used to provide that "free" electric charge.

/snark.

Dan


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Not subsidized
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 20, 2012 at 9:44 am

Stacey, that link is a long list of differing subjects and dates. Another clue please?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by steve
a resident of Parkside
on Jan 20, 2012 at 9:45 am

Mike, I hope you have a fire extiguisher in that Volt, especially if you haven't received your Govt Motors official recall notice yet.
Maybe it will be safe to enjoy your free ride once they fix that 'flaming car' issue.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Curious
a resident of Del Prado
on Jan 20, 2012 at 10:34 am

@ Steve - I would suggest going back and doing a little research on the whole "flaming Volt" story put out by Fox News last month. Here are the facts: AFTER roll over crash tests and AFTER the test vehicles sat for 3 WEEKS UPSIDE DOWN, the batteries leaked and started fires. No fires have been reported in any consumer owned vehicles.

Would you hazard to guess what would happen to a gasoline powered car after a roll-over crash? How many car-b-ques have you witnessed?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by tigger
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 20, 2012 at 11:02 am

I appreciate the good intentions of the City here, and yet I wonder about the practicality of the charging stations. If it takes several hours to recharge the vehicle, then would seem that those using the vehicles are bound to immediate area for that time...meaning the most likely users would be nearby employees. I heard the Stoneridge Mall has similar plans (perhaps already installed)...guess that might appeal to someone who has several hours to shop. Impractical for most of us working folks with less daytime to wait around.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dan
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jan 20, 2012 at 11:21 am

I'm so tired of the "Fox News" straw man that so many posters fall back on. The story was reported widely by many outlets. Geez...!

Fact is, nearly all Chevy Volts are being recalled because of poor structural design around the batteries.

Lack of sales coupled with federal and state subsidies and poor design (forget about manufacturing quality) and you have a perfect example of why Government should not be in the venture capital business.

Hello Solyndra?

Oh and by the way, I was against it when Bush did it too.

Dan


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dan
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jan 20, 2012 at 12:11 pm

It's like a gift being dropped on my lap: Web Link

Wow...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Stoneridge
on Jan 20, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Dan -

I would suggest a little more research on that story reported by CBS News.

Here are the facts: Heavily subsidized companies in the green sector couldn't care less about cost. Just like public sector unions, lobbyists for green corporations easily obtain public funding for their "causes" and products.

Then their products are touted as inexpensive or free alternatives to fossil fuels, while we foot the bill (kind of reminds me of toll roads funding mass transit in the BA). They don't have to answer to the small folk because their political connections make them untouchable, and their connection to reducing global warming makes them seem saintly in the eyes of the unwashed masses.

So Solyndra doesn't care about repaying us, as long as their executive bank accounts remain untouched.

Maybe if you stopped watching so much CBS news, you'd be better informed ;).


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Stoneridge
on Jan 20, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Dan -

I also wish certain people (usually in a group that begins with "L") could present a rational argument without resorting to:

- a strawman
- a red herring
- call to authority/celebrity
- argument by consensus
- bandwagon
- guilt by association
- playing the Hitler card
- appeals to nature (natural MUST be good!)
- personal attacks
- poisoning the well

and many, many others.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dan
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jan 20, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Steve

Uh, I can't be sure, but I think we agree, no?

My sarcasm radar might be de-tuned.

Dan


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 20, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Electric cars actually generate less greenhouse gas emissions per mile traveled than a conventional car, even when relying on coal fired electric power plants. In California, it is even better than most as much of our electric power is from non-coal sources (nuclear, hydroelectric, geothermal and wind). The trick with electric cars is that they are as "green" as your power grid. All electric cars get greener with every improvement in the grid. This cannot be said for gas or hybrid vehicles. That's their advantage. And, despite some people's paranoid fears, the grid can more than adequately support a large increase in electric cars than we have already.

Besides, if you choose to put in air conditioning in your house, or if you want to put in ten million Christmas lights, why should I be forced to subsidize your waste of electricity at peak power times? It is no different than if I would want to plug in my electric car.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 20, 2012 at 2:25 pm

... and to Steve: I find your argument quite compelling. The interesting thing is that exactly the same thing can be said about oil companies, which receive extremely cheap leases on public lands, as well as other billions in subsidies.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jan 20, 2012 at 3:50 pm

I figured out a way to get a BUZZ while only half-way hooked!!!

Signed,

salt 'n pepper with salsa
that's what I'm talking about!!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by QMike
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jan 20, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Charging stations are good PR to raise awareness at a time when the public is beginning to consider EVs and there are still few on the road. Clearly, EVs are intended for short-distance runs, the store, the bank and the nail salon, for which a home-charge should be just fine. With the new high-density housing going up in town, maybe we'll see more EVs being used for short-distance commutes to work.

Mike


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mike Hughes
a resident of Downtown
on Jan 20, 2012 at 6:58 pm

Actually they are not short trip vehicles. I'm averaging 80 miles per c
Gallon and one full charge and
Full Nine gallon take gets me 340 miles. When Tesla starts selling they will sell all 80000 units first year then it gets more
Main stream. I'm telling you test drive a volt


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bowler
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jan 20, 2012 at 8:56 pm

EV charging stations are not just good PR, they are the law. California adopted the Green Building Code which became effective in January. It spells out the number of chargers required per the number of spaces, much like the way code sets out the number of accessible spaces required. Its a wonderful step forward.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Parkside
on Jan 20, 2012 at 9:02 pm

Just so you won't think FOox News got the scoop or made up this news, here's a link describing the flaming volt problem for almost 8000 cars. It's expensive to perform large scale recalls, so there's a very good reason to question these cars safety and integrity.

Maybe we can plug in espresso makers into those free charging stations. I can go 340 miles on a double espresso, Mike.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bowler
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jan 20, 2012 at 10:18 pm

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Friday closed its investigation of Chevy Volt battery fires, concluding that there is no defect trend and that electric cars do not pose a greater risk of fire than gasoline-powered vehicles.

Web Link

Planning to order our Volt as soon as we get our tax refund.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Parkside
on Jan 21, 2012 at 7:26 am

Web Link
Sorry, to keep you anxiously waiting....here's the link I mentioned above. Since this story came out, Obama ordered a new press release regarding his govt motors product in an effort to salvage his latest failed effort, a la Solyndra.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Not subsidized
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 21, 2012 at 8:16 am

Oh John, So you do expect that I won't be able to use my AC here in the tri-Valley. And I have never sent you my gas bill to pay. It's not bad enough, that I have to pay for half your car purchase...I've always had to buy my own cars. But, on top of buying your high price toy for you, you acknowledge you expect me to pay your elec bill, as if sacrificing my 'supply' for you isn't enough. Supply is a big issue. PG&E CEO Darby spoke to an auto conference in Detroit 3 years ago, saying 4 elec cars plugged in at the same time can cause a neighborhood substation blackout. PEAK hours use becomes a major war. There must also be a LAW to enforce only night charging....as it is suppose to be now, th these people somehow think they are special for the car I buy for them. They are not special.
What arrogance.
thanks Bowler for reminding us we need to overturn and prevent further 'police state' big brother laws dictating charging stations.. the message is PAY ATTENTION. Certainly the owners of those expensive cars must use their credit cards at the charging stations, that I assume would be drawing off of 'city lights' or at the city lot....which I pay for, so the bills and income would need to be reported to taxpayers.
Also, by law home charging should only be allowed during the night.period.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Geez
a resident of Danbury Park
on Jan 21, 2012 at 9:04 am

A local business person posta about purchacing and using an electric car for delivery and thanks P Town.

The wondeful people of P Town, on the P Weekly forum, go on the attack as usual.

Then we wonder why kids are getting into trouble, disfunctional and doing drugs in this pristine town.

Go figure.....


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Parkside
on Jan 21, 2012 at 6:01 pm

Who is the one on drugs, Geez? The kids are on drugs because posters commented about subsidizing power for electric vehicles that may catch on fire? The only thing you left out of your post was the usual name calling that occurs when liberals are criticized.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Charlie Brown
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jan 23, 2012 at 12:11 pm

It's simply wonderful: I can pick my neighbors pockets to the tune of $7,500 for a tax credit to purchase a Volt and now I can pick their pockets to run it.

Plus I'm saving Mother Earth.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jose
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 23, 2012 at 2:35 pm

I noticed the curb at the charging stations is painted green. Wow, I can charge a car in 20 minutes!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mominer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2012 at 3:55 pm

We would like to THANK the Pleasanton Weekly for such lousy reporting. There was also a Nissan Leaf present at the ribbin cutting. They do not catch fire.
It was so nice to take the time to bring the car and then not even be mentioned.
Again thanks Pleasanton Weekly. It would have been nice to at least be mentioned.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kodak moment
a resident of Val Vista
on Jan 25, 2012 at 11:10 am

And how much taxpayer money was being spent on 15 people standing around just to be in a photo shoot that were doing this rather than their regular jobs?

I've heard of ribbon cutting ceremonies for ships that are built or for buildings, but this is ridiculous.

Next, we'll have photo ops when traffic lights are installed and turned on for the first time.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by What about the Dublin Library?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 25, 2012 at 11:26 am

For years there have been what are probably car charging stations at the rarely open Dublin library, but I've never seen them in use.
Q. Do they work? How do they get paid for?
Q. And why do they take close in spaces that the handicapped and others might use?
Seems like most should be in the far corners, so people will get some exercise walking!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pete
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 26, 2012 at 11:28 am

Scissors to cut ribbon were a government mandated purchase, costing taxpayers... $2.3 million dollrs.(all kidding aside) Anyhow... glad we are moving forward.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Not subsidized
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 26, 2012 at 2:07 pm

I saw one being installed in front of Walgreen's yesterday. I chatted with the 3 electricians about where the user's money goes. I was shown the slider for the card...for that company. Maybe there will be billing direct to the user...how LOGICAL is that ! Anything else would be done without support of the public. I do think there should be time limits just for 'boosts' while shopping. I'm sad to have LOST one of the very limited parking spaces right at the 'intersection' from Valley, Santa Rita, Safeway, Hallmark, ALL making it difficult to 'back out' without read vision...and I just want to 'run in' to Walgreen's for one item ! ! ! Why not 20 feet closer to Safeway, across drive CENTERED in lot. Not bad enough there are SO many handicapped spaces blocking Hallmark & Walgreen's. So I wonder what the brilliant explaination is for not moving a few feet into a more open Safeway area,,,literally 3 spaces away, I suppose 'the city' was involved in screwing it up,


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Not subsidized
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2012 at 2:06 pm

OK ! JUST WHO IS RESPONSIBLE ? ? ? I ran to Walgreens this morning for a quick 10 minutes....it's NOT A space that has been stolen, it's TWO Fxxxxxx spaces for ONE car, plus a space with a green painted X..
I honestly think Walgreen should SUE. Their business is fast in and out, averaging sbout 12 minutes.. Already AT their front door toward Hallmark, there were/are FOUR GIANT handicapped spaces (never full).
WHY in this 'center' parking lot of a hundred spaces, were the 7 parking spaces and 4 handicapped AT Walgreen's front door picked on for shortage. Their 12 minute shoppers won't be bothering to plug in. Are there any 'thinking' people involved in this project. Surely the 3 electricians (1 was maybe 18) were not left alone to choose the spots! Explain ! I'll encourage Walgreen's in a suit, which I hope they file. We cannot risk any further stupid choices. This makes people hate the green elite who think they can just encroach and push others aside !! I'll xxxx well stop paying for their cars, and pg&e with arrogance like that.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Not subsidized
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2012 at 9:53 am

Apparently, selfish, business destroying types, are also spineless, without the decency to step up to even explain HOW they arrived at their decision, what criteria might have been used to justify their decision-making process. What it a dartboard, or were they paid off by Safeway...to go to extraordinary measures to avoid their 100 spaces ? ? just a question... We'll have to watch the sneeky and ruthless greens from here on, since they obviously have no sense of right and wrong or simple decency. Lack of ethics, like this behavior, only calls for a much rocky future !


 +   Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of another community
on Feb 8, 2012 at 6:53 pm

I plugged my leaf in the charger downtown today. It is free until April at which point you can pay with a credit card that has one of the wireless transmitters in them. You can also get a charge point access card that is tied to a credit card. Most places are charging 1-2 dollars an hour for a charge. It still beats gas prices.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by wow
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 10, 2013 at 9:30 am

Lots of ignorance and arrogance in this thread, and it is mostly the charge station bashers who are wrong.

Hey "Not subsidized", Walgreens is responsible. They want electric vehicles at their stores.

Web Link

The electricity feeding charge stations is paid for either by the user swiping a card or by the private owner of the station. Yes, in some cases, there may be charging available in front of government buildings that is paid for by the government. But really, we're talking about a few dollars a day at most.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by ActuallyInformed
a resident of Deer Oaks/Twelve Oaks
on Jan 7, 2014 at 5:42 pm

So basically asshat "Not Subsidized" is okay advocating for his (her?) selfish needs, to hell with anyone else.

- "So on a hot day, my AC shuts off, or because of the power drain, I pay the highest tier on my bill" -> I say that you're not only obtuse, but also clairvoyant; you know, cuz you're SURE your shutoff is due to the *40,000* (in a State with at least 30 MILLION ICE cars) EVs that just happened to all be charging at the same time. Have you even a modicum of physics (aka "common sense")? Does your shower pressure get cut off when your neighbor washes their car? Do all the pipes in AT&T stadium explode if all the toilets were flushed at the same time? Would the Earth move if all 1.5 Billion Chinese jumped at the same time? NO! Do you even know what the draw is on a charging EV? Lemme make it easy for you: less than your AC, less than your microwave, less than your hairdryer, less than the computer you used to enter your inane "observations."

- "Definitely on this subject the cart is before the horse. Sufficient clean power first, then cars" Another comment based on ignorance. If you must know, ELECTRIC cars were pretty much quite available when cars were getting introduced. They were marketed to women since they're a LOT cleaner, and doesn't take muscle-power to start, than the "other" kind. You know who killed it? Oil companies. Sure, it may have been cheaper and infrastructurally easier; but can you even imagine the state of battery technology NOW if oil greed hadn't happened then? Oh wait, it takes a brain to have an imagination...

- "Oh John, So you do expect that I won't be able to use my AC here in the tri-Valley. And I have never sent you my gas bill to pay." Of course not! This is why people who can't think critically shouldn't be allowed to vote. Are you getting "billed" for someone else's electricity use? It doesn't matter whether your neighbor isn't "subsidized" when they use their electrical appliances and your assumption that all EV charging stations are subsidized - YOU HAVE NO PRACTICAL WAY OF DIFFERENTIATING ONE ELECTRON FROM ANOTHER. Do I blame you for the prevalence of empty-calorie fattening foods in the US due to the cheap subsidized corn program? NO. And I am willing to bet that practically EVERYTHING in your pantry contains a corn-derived byproduct.

- "I saw one being installed in front of Walgreen's yesterday. I chatted with the 3 electricians about where the user's money goes. I was shown the slider for the card...for that company. Maybe there will be billing direct to the user...how LOGICAL is that!" Idiot. If you have no effing idea of what you speak of, it's better to STFU. ALL the EV Charger installers have the option to charge (no pun intended) for the service. In fact, the vast majority of them require the user to pay (via a that company's card, or dongle, or what have you). And the overwhelming majority of EV drivers are perfectly happy to pay when using a charging station. Re: talking to those installers: I would also believe that my local ditch-digger knows exactly where the funding comes from and how it's levied and who paid for it. Jackass.

- "Anything else would be done without support of the public." Who the EFF did you think paid for the Interstate system that you drive on to do your run-in-and-grab Walgreen's jaunt?

- "I'm sad to have LOST one of the very limited parking spaces right at the 'intersection' from Valley, Santa Rita, Safeway, Hallmark, ALL making it difficult to 'back out' without read vision...and I just want to 'run in' to Walgreen's for one item" Newsflash, the Reverse gear selection has been around for about 90 years before rear-view cameras. Why don't you effing learn how to drive first before bitching about other people's cars that are properly parked.

- "Not bad enough there are SO many handicapped spaces blocking Hallmark & Walgreen's." I hope you're an early victim of a broken hip in your twilight years, let's see how you feel about Handicap spaces then.

- "I honestly think Walgreen should SUE. Their business is fast in and out, averaging sbout 12 minutes.. Already AT their front door toward Hallmark, there were/are FOUR GIANT handicapped spaces (never full)." And that's why you're not on their board. Are you even a Walgreen's shareholder? I am. If not, STFU because you literally have no say in what Walgreen's does. And FYI, Walgreen's as a corporation invited the installation of their charging stations. Just about every Walgreen's has one now.

- "We cannot risk any further stupid choices." Like when the doctor who delivered you didn't accidentally drop you on your head. Or maybe he did...

- "Apparently, selfish, business destroying types, are also spineless, without the decency to step up to even explain HOW they arrived at their decision" Apparently selfish neighborhood destroying types are also spineless without the decency to do even the most cursory fact-checking that even a fifth-grader can do.

- "We'll have to watch the sneeky and ruthless greens from here on, since they obviously have no sense of right and wrong or simple decency. Lack of ethics, like this behavior, only calls for a much rocky future" Wow, I can't even begin to wrap my head around this statement. It simply defies its own internal logic.

And by the way, when you start collecting your Social Security - I'm going to sue you for taking my money. Why should I subsidize your useless old ass?


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

The valley loses a distinguished and humble leader
By Tim Hunt | 3 comments | 1,485 views

Not Endorsements
By Roz Rogoff | 7 comments | 1,079 views