May 16, 2017
City of Berkeley Press Contact: Matthai Chakko
ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING NOW AT THE WEST BRANCH BERKELEY LIBRARY
Helping our City meet its Climate Action Plan goals
Berkeley, California (Tuesday, May 16, 2017) - In Berkeley, cars can now be powered by a home for books.
Electric vehicles parked in front of the West Branch Berkeley Library can use a publicly-available curbside charging station, another piece of the City's efforts to guide resources and services to help community members reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The charging station is powered in part by solar panels on the rooftop of the library, a building that's produced more energy than it uses since opening in 2014.
Electric vehicles can play an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Transportation emissions create over half of Berkeley's greenhouse gas emissions. An electric vehicle generates only 30 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions of a typical gas-powered car. When the fueling electricity comes from a renewable resource, such as the library's solar panels, even more emissions are reduced.
The environmental benefits of electric vehicles have led the City of Berkeley to support and encourage their use, which, in turn, helps the City move toward goals in its Climate Action Plan. Voters in 2006 set a goal of reducing community-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent from 2000 to 2050. The goal for 2020 is a 33 percent reduction, but more work needs to be done. By the end of 2014, the greenhouse gas reductions were 13 percent below 2000 levels. Every step by residents or businesses helps move the community towards a more sustainable community.
The City now has electric vehicle charging stations at the West Branch Berkeley Library, the Berkeley Marina, the Oxford Parking Garage, and the Telegraph-Channing Parking Garage. Fees are $1.50 per hour, plus any applicable parking fees. This EV charging station is ADA accessible, and can also charge electric motorcycles. The station and its installation were funded by grants from the California Energy Commission and The 11th Hour Project, a program of The Schmidt Family Foundation.
The City's support for electric vehicles includes helping people get electric chargers. Installing a charger on a driveway or in a garage is a straight-forward process. Even residents who lack off-street parking can get a home charging station at their curb through a Berkeley pilot program.
Residents can also get rebates of up to $7,000 for the purchase or lease of an electric vehicle through the California Clean Vehicle Rebate Project. In addition, $500 is available from PG&E's Clean Fuel Rebate. Electric vehicle purchases may also be eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500.
At the end of 2016, there were approximately 1,500 electric vehicles registered to Berkeley owners.
Next time you check out a book at the West Berkeley Library, you can also charge up your car.