Looking to be environmentally competitive by adding infrastructure for electric vehicles, the city of Half Moon Bay is creating more charge stations within its downtown corridor.
Last month a third electric vehicle charging station was installed near It’s Italia restaurant on Mill Street and a fourth station is on deck. They join existing stations on Kelly Avenue near City Hall and another by the Half Moon Bay Library. New Leaf Community Market and the Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, also operate privately owned stations.
“If you are a tourist and you want to spend the day here, one of the things you are looking at it is, ‘Can I charge my car here?’” said Director of Public Works John Doughty. The city first installed an electric vehicle charge station in the fall of 2014 and since then, according to Doughty, there’s been enough activity to justify more.
Having charge stations available in areas of the city where they are highly visible provides confidence to drivers of electric vehicles, according to Doughty.
The cost to charge a vehicle is based on rates by kilowatt-hour, but the city likely won’t realize a profit from the stations. “Our interest was never to try and make money off this,” Doughty said. The majority of the money earned from the stations will go toward paying off the original investment of the stations.
Grants from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District were used to partially pay for the two new charge stations, and, according to Doughty, the city is keeping a close eye on other sources of funding.
In 2018, Peninsula Clean Energy launched a series of “Go Electric” programs to promote the transition from gasoline to electric transportation. PCE hosted its first free electric test drive event for San Mateo County residents in Menlo Park.
Half Moon Bay Mayor Harvey Rarback mentioned to City Council last week he would like to partner with PCE to host a “Ride and Drive” event in Half Moon Bay where people can test drive electric vehicles. “Owning an electric vehicle saves about $1,000 a year on fuel and maintenance. It also has an environmental value, creating, on average, 80 percent fewer greenhouse gases than other vehicles,” said Director of Energy Programs for Peninsula Clean Energy Rafael Reyes.
As for adding any more charge stations, Doughty said the city is going to wait a few months and survey the usage before discussing that possibility. However additional stations are planned as part of developments already approved, including putting one by the Ted Adcock Community Center.