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November 19, 2021

From the CEO’s Desk Newsletter

Predicting and reducing disconnections

EBCE Brings New EV Charging to the East Bay

As more electric cars take to the streets, EBCE is working with member cities to build more public fast charging stations.

Photo by Ben Paulos

EBCE is partnering with Oakland and Piedmont to install publicly accessible electric vehicle (EV) fast charging hubs to help renters and commuters make the transition to EVs.

“Across the East Bay - and California - transportation emissions represent the biggest source of GHG emissions and harmful air pollution,” says EBCE CEO Nick Chaset. “The rapid electrification of our transportation system is a prerequisite to achieving our climate goals and undoing environmental injustice.”


EBCE’s new fast charging hubs are helping to meet state and regional goals. In 2018, Governor Jerry Brown established a target of 5 million zero emission vehicles statewide by 2030 and directed California to install 250,000 EV chargers, including 10,000 fast chargers, to support 1.5 million EVs statewide by 2025. The 2025 target translates into approximately 12 percent of California cars.

Governor Newsom upped the ante in 2020, mandating all sales (PDF) of new light duty passenger vehicles to be zero-emission by 2035. In March 2021, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) published a draft EV Acceleration Plan, which set a target of 90 percent of vehicles on the road in the Bay Area to be zero emission by 2050.

With all these cars comes the need for charging, especially fast public stations. So far, most EV drivers live in single family homes and can install overnight charging in their driveway or garage. But in Alameda County nearly half of all residents are renters, with no access to charging where they live. Plus, EBCE has found that more than 90 percent of multifamily buildings in its service area are over 50 years old, and will likely need electrical upgrades to provide on-site charging for tenants.

Today there are about 315 publicly accessible fast charging ports across 70 unique locations throughout EBCE’s service area. However, the California Energy Commission estimates as many as 1,740 will be needed to serve increased EV adoption. The chargers that have been installed by private sector industry do not directly address the needs of drivers who are renters, resulting in significant gaps in access.


Adding more EV fast chargers also helps EBCE member cities meet their climate action goals.

The City of Oakland’s Equitable Climate Action Plan calls for development of a Zero Emission Vehicle Action Plan, “to lead an equitable transition away from carbon intensive transportation options.” City staff have held workshops in disadvantaged communities, where workshop attendees were overwhelmingly renters. They found that a lack of access to charging infrastructure is the key barrier to EV adoption in those neighborhoods.

To address this barrier, EBCE has mapped the multifamily housing stock throughout its service area and created a “hotspot map” that identifies areas with dense concentrations of multifamily housing units. EBCE is using this tool to prioritize its investments to ensure renters have convenient access to fast charging near their homes.

EBCE identified the City Center West Parking Garage as a good fit for deployment of its first fast charging hub. The City owns this facility, which has 1,500 parking spaces and is located in between West Oakland and downtown.

EBCE’s fast charging hub will have fifteen 75-kilowatt dual port fast chargers serving 30 EV-only parking spaces, and two 175-kilowatt fast chargers serving four additional spaces. It will be the largest single-site public fast charging hub in Oakland, and the second largest in Alameda County.

EBCE will own and operate the hub, and sell drivers wind and solar powered electricity, from its Renewable 100 product, with the price for charging set to beat the cost of gasoline and diesel fuel.

The Oakland City Council approved the plan in October. EBCE’s overall project cost of $1.45 million is being offset by a $425,000 grant from the BAAQMD Charge! Program. Additional revenues will come from the state Low Carbon Fuel Standard program, where EBCE has had its Renewable 100 product certified by the California Air Resources Board as zero carbon intensity.

“This is the first of what we hope will be an extensive network of publicly available fast chargers that will help underpin the massive transformation of our transportation system over the next decade,” says Chaset.


EBCE is building a smaller curbside EV fast charging hub in Piedmont. In October the Piedmont City Council approved the deployment of up to four fast charging ports on Magnolia Avenue near Piedmont Park.

As of 2020, there were nearly 900 EVs registered in Piedmont, making up about 11 percent of all vehicles registered in the City. Yet there are currently no public chargers within the city limits. Piedmont’s Climate Action Plan calls for 50 percent EV adoption by 2030. While many of these will be owned by residents with access to home charging, 17 percent of Piedmont’s residents are renters. There are more than 100 multifamily properties within a mile of EBCE’s project site.

EBCE is funding this project with partial help from a grant from Alameda County’s Transportation Fund for Clean Air. The City of Piedmont has offered up to $75,000 to cover any remaining expenses.

EBCE’s fast charging hubs in Oakland and Piedmont are expected to come online by Fall 2022.