Burlingame is in the process of deciding whether bringing in new electronic vehicle charging stations downtown is a viable option.
At a mid-year budget review Wednesday, March 5, the city will discuss options for installing EV stations. In May 2013, the city received an offer from Putnam Automotive to install two EV charging stations on Burlingame Avenue at no cost to the city. The offer included a payment of $600 per charger to cover electricity costs in the first year. Because of the Burlingame Avenue Streetscape project, the city held off on accepting the offer but, when it followed up in November, found out the offer through Nissan was no longer available.
“We’re determining if it’s a priority and if it is, how do we pay for it?” said Mayor Michael Brownrigg. “It’s not as important as other Public Works projects, but it is important.”
As part of this year’s budget, the City Council adopted five major goals with several strategies, including striving to promote environmentally sustainable policies and outcomes. Under this goal, the council approved the strategy to expand EV charging stations to the city and map them.
Where to obtain funding for such a project is still a major question for the city too. The city also applied for a grant to install EV stations through the California Energy Commission and Bay Area Air Quality Management District, but the city’s application was not selected due to limited funds and oversubscription of the program. The City Council will now consider private sector funding and grants, Brownrigg said.
The council did seem positive about installing stations and was mostly in favor of doing something, said Councilman Ricardo Ortiz. It decided to hold off on a vote Monday night to look at it at the same time it looks at other projects at its Wednesday budget study session.
“We obviously have to become more energy efficient,” said Vice Mayor Terry Nagel. “Many more people are driving electric cars and hybrids and electric cars and we need to get serious about providing the infrastructure for them.”
Potential locations the staff suggested looking at for stations included parking Lot J at Burlingame Avenue and Park Road, Lot V on California Avenue in front of the Burlingame Avenue Caltrain Station and another just north of the second location. Staff also provided information to the council on costs of various charger types. For example, a Level 1 charger takes about eight to 20 hours to fully charge the vehicle. This type has $1,000-$2,000 in equipment costs and is $1,000-$2,000 to install. Level 2 chargers take six to 10 hours to fully charge the car. It has $7,000-$12,000 in equipment costs and cost $15,000-$30,000 to install. A high-efficiency Level 2 charger takes four to five hours to fully charge the vehicle, has $12,000-$15,000 in equipment costs and costs $30,000-$45,000 to install. Lastly, DC Chargers take one to two hours to fully charge the vehicle, has $20,000-$25,000 in equipment costs and cost $70,000-$100,000 to install, according to a city staff report.
Staff wrote Lot V and the area just north of that lot would be suitable for a Level 2 charging station, while Lot J would be fit for a high-efficiency Level 2 charger, according to the report.
The mid-year budget meeting takes place 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 5 in Burlingame Public Library’s Lane Room, 480 Primrose Road.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 105