Brand-new electronic vehicle charging stations are coming to Burlingame’s downtown in the near future.
The City Council voted to install two dual cord Commercial Level 2 EV charging stations on city-owned property for public use in Parking Lot V downtown right in front of the Burlingame Avenue Caltrain Station off of California Drive. REJ Electric will carry out the project for $49,363. Work will begin in the next couple of months.
“I think we’re just keeping with the times,” said Councilman Ricardo Ortiz. “It’s all a part of being green.”
There has been big growth in the EV charging industry since Tesla and other electric cars were released, said Jon Burke, sales director for ChargePoint, the company that makes the charging stations to be installed in Burlingame. The chargers are high quality and don’t rust, he said. The two chargers can power four cars at a time.
Mayor Michael Brownrigg wondered why the chargers are so expensive at a Tuesday night meeting.
“I’m glad we’re doing this,” he said. “It’s expensive and I can’t see Burlingame populating this as much as [other cities].”
Public Works Director Syed Murtuza explained that there was no power available at the facility where stations will be installed. However, there is an existing Pacific Gas and Electric power source nearby.
“There was a cost of getting the 200 amp panel and PG&E will charge us on top of that,” he said. “If you have the necessary power available at a certain location, you can bring this ChargePoint in for equipment about $5,000 a piece.”
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.
Initially, the city received an offer from Putnam Automotive in May 2013 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.
The city had considered the library parking structure and Lot J along Burlingame Avenue and Park Road, but the council ultimately chose Lot V. 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.
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