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A charging station for electric vehicles at Pine Avenue Community Park in Carlsbad. File photo
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Carlsbad employees, fleet getting EV stations

CARLSBAD — The city is moving forward with more electric charging vehicle stations, albeit only for employees and the city’s fleet for the time being.

The City Council approved a measure to participate in the Electrify America program and cost sharing to construct 20 electric vehicle charging stations.

The stations will be located at the Faraday Center and Dove Library, according to Mike Grim, the city’s senior program manager.

Electrify America is owned by the Volkswagen Group of America and stems from the company’s massive fraud regarding its diesel emissions scandal, which was revealed in 2015. The company has paid billions in fines in the U.S. and Europe and part of its settlement with California called for investing $800 million over 10 years in Zero Emission Vehicle infrastructure, education and access activities.

As part of its deal with Carlsbad, among others, Volkswagen has hired Greenlots, an L.A.-based company delivering EV charging infrastructure at scale, according to its website.

With Carlsbad, Electrify America will subsidize the cost of the stations up to $4,000 per port (think gas tank) along with free subscription and maintenance costs for each of Greenlots charging service for up to eight years.

In total, the program costs $99,775, but after the subsidy, the city will only cover $19,775, or $989 per port, Grim said. In addition, he said the city currently had one plug-in hybrid EV, but expects the city to purchase nine more next year.

The city has a number of other hybrids, but those are not plug-ins. The project is expected to be completed by June 30, 2019.

As for city-funded public stations, there are 10 at Stagecoach Park and two each at State and Oak streets and Pine Avenue and Alga Norte community parks.

Despite the initial use for city employees and vehicles, Grim said after the terms of the agreement expire, those stations can be opened up for public use.

“There is potential for pilot programs for other public charging stations,” Grim added.

A 2015 Center for Sustainable Energy infrastructure assessment found other city-owned sites as potential sites including The Shoppes at Carlsbad parking lot, City Hall and Cole Library, along with the Faraday Center and Dove Library.

According to the city, EVGO Services LLC, a division of NRG, is required by state mandate to build out California’s EV charging system infrastructure in workplace and public facilities statewide, at no cost to the public agencies or property owners.

The city of Carlsbad entered into an agreement with EVGO Services in2016 to install the base units for the new charging stations at the StateStreet and Stagecoach Park locations. The city then contracted with ChargePoint to provide the charging terminals.