Drivers of electric vehicles need not fear running out of juice too far from home. Soon, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) unveils a new EV fast-charge station at the SMUD campus. The pilot project's technology charges most fast-charge EVs in less than 30 minutes, giving drivers the range confidence to fully realize the tremendous potential these cars offer. The station also features 19 conventional low-voltage EV chargers.

The station features the only fast charger in the region with dual capability to accommodate most types of EVs manufactured by domestic and foreign automakers. This station is one of the world's first commercial installations of certified DC fast-charge hardware that meets the new industry standard. It is one of the first fast-charge stations in the U.S. installed by a utility and the first that SMUD will open in the area in 2014.

The electric to gasoline comparison is about $2 a "gallon" to fast charge versus almost $4 for a gallon of gasoline (EV drivers can get a special at-home rate that equals 60 cents per gallon for charging after midnight.) Drivers can save upwards of $1,800 a year compared to a gasoline car. The new plug-in electric vehicles are far more advanced and can even charge using a normal 120-volt home outlet.

The project is the next step in a quarter-century effort by SMUD to improve local air quality by advancing clean alternative-fuel transportation, as well as cleaner power sources. The station is a joint SMUD, General Motors and U.S. Department of Energy project. Funding for this station comes from the sale of carbon credits.

Date:

Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 11:00 a.m.

Location:

SMUD solar parking lot

6151 S Street, just west of the SMUD Headquarters building

Background:

SMUD makes it easy to get plugged in and on the road. SMUD provides a special rate to make plugging in instead of pumping gas even more affordable. SMUD launched a new residential pilot rate that offers electricity for EV charging at one of the lowest rates in the state. 

Environmental leadership is one of the SMUD board's core values. SMUD made its original commitment to electric vehicles in 1989 and has continuously supported electric vehicles as they help improve the air quality in the Sacramento region and reduce dependency on oil.

Through the years SMUD has partnered with a host of major automakers, entrepreneurs, universities and other technology developers regarding all types of electric vehicles. This range of expertise is nationally recognized and provides Sacramento with a knowledge base to support the current wave of electric vehicles. SMUD currently operates 15 plug-in electric vehicles and will be purchasing nine additional vehicles by the end of the year. Long-term fleet deployment plans include an increase of the fleet to 54 vehicles by 2017.

Source: SMUD