Jul 28, 2014

Los Altos' EV Vehicle Charge Stations Are A Go!

The finishing touches on the parking stalls for Los Altos' first public EV charging stations were completed Tuesday. At $1 an hour, Los Altos falls on the less-expensive side of the equation, but not exactly free, like several other cities.

Los Altos' EV Vehicle Charge Stations Are A Go! Los Altos' EV Vehicle Charge Stations Are A Go! Los Altos' EV Vehicle Charge Stations Are A Go!


Los Altos' first public electric vehicle charging stations are ready to get you on the road. If you have an electric car, that is.

On Tuesday afternoon, city workers were stenciling on the last of the "EV Charging Only" signs on the parking spaces in two spots—behind the Bus Barn Theater and in Parking Plaza 3 across from Lulu's restaurant.

"They were all installed by Friday, but only one was running, said city Economic Development Manager Kathy Kleinbaum, explaining the other charging stations had some software glitches that have since been resolved.

Kleinbaum said members of GreenTown Los Altos had been swinging by to check the progress, and finally tried a test charge. 

GreenTown member Gary Hedden sent in a photo taken by resident Joel Bartlett, commemorating the moment as one of the first cars to get a public charge. Bartlett's BMW Active E, plugged into the charging station by the Bus Barn Theater, is shown in photos above.  

Since the ChargePoint wasn't fully functioning, the city footed the bill for the six-minute charge, said Kleinbaum. At $1 an hour, the rate that Los Altos established, that amounted to a whole 10 cents.

By Tuesday, that had changed.

"The ChargePoint is now operational so no more free charges!" wrote Hedden.

How does Los Altos' $1 an hour fee stack up, compared to other cities' charging stations? Here's a list that Kleinbaum compiled: 

  • Free – Mountain View, Palo Alto, Redwood City, Campbell, Portola Valley
  • $0.50 per hour – Los Altos Hills
  • $1.00 per hour – Saratoga, San Jose
  • $1.50 per hour – Cupertino
  • $2.00 per hour – Stanford University
  • $2.50 per 24 hours – Los Gatos


Editor's note: This story was corrected Wednesday to reflect that Joel Bartlett was the photographer who took the picture of his car at the Electric Vehicle charging station.

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