Thirteen mobile, solar-powered charging units for electric vehicles are being deployed in disadvantaged, rural communities throughout Fresno County, making plug-in electric vehicles a more viable option for those who live and work in this underserved area of the state.
Increased access to chargers supports efforts to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the San Joaquin Valley, which has some of the worst air quality in the nation. The project also helps California reach its aim of getting 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) on the road by 2025.
Deployment of the charging stations is the result of a partnership between CALSTART, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, Fresno County Rural Transit Agency and Caltrans.
The California Energy Commission supported the project through a $1.2 million grant to CALSTART that helped establish the San Joaquin Transportation Center, which helped develop plans to deploy the chargers.
“The Energy Commission is proud to be a partner in this and ongoing efforts to help the San Joaquin Valley attain its air quality goals by accelerating the use of zero-emission vehicles and clean fuels,” said Energy Commissioner Janea A. Scott, who attended a May 24 unveiling event for the project in Fowler.
The innovative chargers, built by Envision Solar, do not require access to the electrical grid. They come ready to charge up to three vehicles at a time, and can easily be moved to another location to increase public access. The units also include battery storage, meaning they can be used night or day.
The Energy Commission grant to establish the San Joaquin Transportation Center was awarded through the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP), which has invested more than $748 million to date to support advancements in alternative, renewable fuels and the vehicles powered by them.
The center works to speed deployment of lower emission vehicles and help improve air quality in the San Joaquin Valley by making a variety of resources available to local residents, businesses, governments and others.
The Energy Commission has also made numerous other investments to resolve barriers to adoption of ZEVs and clean fuels in the San Joaquin Valley.