Burbank Water and Power, along with the City of Burbank, today unveiled the first two public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in the city. Altogether, 11 EV charging stations will be installed in public locations throughout Burbank. The stations are funded by a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant as part of a DOE-sponsored program that will help meet the city-wide goal of improving sustainability.
Burbank Mayor Jess Talamantes and BWP General Manager Ron Davis publicly revealed the EV station in a ribbon-cutting and demonstration Friday morning at Burbank Town Center Mall. The event was also attended by local residents who drive electric vehicles and included a display of the Chevy Volt and Nissan LEAF electric cars as well as information about conservation and the EV charger rebate.
The initiative is part of BWP’s commitment to preserving natural resources for generations to come while still meeting the growing demand for electricity. Nine stations will be located in Downtown Burbank, and two stations will be located at the Lakeside Shopping Center in Burbank’s Media District. The Burbank City Council recently approved the BWP-proposed “charging holiday” plan for free charging until July 1, 2012 and $2 per hour thereafter.
“It’s a huge pleasure and privilege to be at fantastic Burbank events like this one that showcase what a community-minded and forward-thinking city Burbank is,” says Burbank Mayor Jess Talamantes. “We are sending a message to our community and to the Southern California region: Burbank supports electric transportation. Drive your electric vehicle to Burbank, charge your vehicle and enjoy Burbank.”
“Electric vehicles are becoming more of a mainstream technology, with multiple benefits for our customers, our community and our environment,” says Davis. “BWP is united with the nation in its efforts to find more sustainable ways to do business and significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions. Electrification is an important step in allowing us to achieve this important environmental goal.”
The EV charging stations feature the latest technology, such as SMS or email notifications to the driver when charging is complete. The ChargePoint America Network makes plug-in electric vehicle use more convenient for drivers; they are able to locate and reserve available public charging stations, including via a mobile phone application, and to track energy usage and greenhouse gas savings, as well as view account history.
EV users are able to locate the new stations on the ChargePoint Network website, which shows real-time availability of chargers, as well as on the BWP website (BurbankWaterandPower.com, which also includes helpful tips about EVs and chargers.
“We have heard from EV owners that public chargers are needed to reduce ‘range anxiety,’” adds Davis. “We hope these chargers will send an important signal to our community and surrounding areas: Buy an EV, drive it to and inside Burbank, and don’t worry about running out of electric charge in our city.”
As part of this initiative, BWP will offer an off-peak pricing option and a $100 billing credit for EV chargers installed in Burbank homes. In addition to benefits to customers, the incentives will help BWP determine where chargers are currently being used and help the utility best manage its electrical distribution system and continue providing high electric reliability as more and more electric vehicles hit the road.
Burbank has supported alternative fuel vehicles for many years, including BWP’s modified plug-in Toyota Prius that achieved 100 miles per gallon; five hydrogen-fueled vehicles; compressed, natural gas and hydrogen fueling stations; and a propane fueling station.
BWP boasts some of the highest electricity reliability numbers in the country and aims to provide services at the lowest possible rates. A leader in energy policy, BWP was the first utility in the nation to adopt a commitment to 33 percent renewable energy attainment by 2020, and has a proud tradition of researching and investing in forward-thinking projects and incorporating new technology.