San Francisco to Install Coulomb Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

By dancurranjr On February 22nd, 2009

coulomb-chargingSan Francisco will this morning be touting its plans to install electric vehicle charging stations in the city. At 10 a.m., Mayor Gavin Newsom and electric vehicle charging station developer Coulomb Technologies are having a media event at San Francisco City Hall at which they will unveil three electric vehicle charging stations in the city, including charging points for City CarShare and Zipcar plug-in hybrid vehicles. Newsom says in the release that he wants San Francisco to be the “EV Capital of the U.S” (he said the same thing when the Bay Area announced another electric vehicle charging deal with Better Place earlier this year.)

Coulomb’s score in San Francisco comes on the heels of its installation of three electric vehicle stations in San Jose, Calif., last month. In addition, Coulomb said last month that it has raised $3.8 million in its first round of venture capital funding led by Berlin’s Estag Capital.

While the three electric vehicle chargers in San Francisco will be used for a two-year demo, the startup’s business model is based on subscription plans. Prices include a limited-time “Basic Access” subscription offer, which the company says includes free charging through 2009. Then there are several monthly plans, including: $15 per month for 10 night time charging sessions, $30 per month for unlimited night time charging sessions, $20 per month for “grid-friendly” charging sessions, $40 per month for unlimited “grid-friendly” charging sessions, $25 per month for 10 anytime sessions, and $50 per month for unlimited charging at anytime. While I probably won’t be buying an EV this year, I’m a City CarShare member, and I would definitely pay a bit extra to be able to use an EV in my neighborhood.

Coulomb’s public event leads us to ask, where is Better Place, which announced a deal with the state of California and the city of San Francisco in just November? That event also took place at City Hall and featured Mayor Newsom. Better Place has previously said that Bay Area network planning and permitting would start as soon as January 2009, and infrastructure deployment could begin in 2010. A Better Place spokesperson tells us this morning that the company had staff from Mayor Newsom’s office and San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed’s office at its headquarters last week, taking a test drive of the Better Place eRogue and reviewing its charging spots and software.


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