Woodlake takes ‘charge’ in covering electric vehicle station costs

Woodlake City Council applies for Charge Up! grant through the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District  to cover remaining costs of public vehicle charging stations behind City Hall

WOODLAKE– Woodlake City Council applied for an additional grant to help the city complete the installation of eight electric vehicle charging ports behind city hall.

At the Woodlake City Council meeting on July 25, council approved an application to apply for the ChargeUp! Grant to cover the cost of the charging ports in the city’s plan to add eight charging stations behind city hall. The project proposal for a public electric vehicle charging station includes two single ports and three dual ports for a total of eight charging ports. If the city receives the grant, they will receive a $28,000 voucher from the air control district, to purchase the charging ports from a manufacturer.

“We reached out to the air district to see if we could apply for a grant that would cover the costs that are not covered by the grant we have already received from Southern California Edison,” Woodlake city staff member Rebecca Griswold said.

Woodlake has already received a grant from the Southern California Edison (SCE) Charge Ready Program to install the charging stations at City Hall. The stations are expected to be completed by the end of the year, but Woodlake must cover the cost of the charging ports themselves. That is where the ChargeUp! grant comes into play.

According to Griswold, the Charge Up! grant will cover 95% of the total cost of the charging units and the rest will come out of the city’s general fund. Woodlake is applying for a total of $28,000 for their eight ports, $5,000 for two single charging ports and $6,000 for three double charging ports. The infrastructure, installation and maintenance costs of the vehicle charging stations will be taken care of by the previously received SCE grant. 

The city is working to transition its vehicle fleet, including city vehicles and police cars, to electric vehicles over the next few years and hopes public access to charging stations will prompt more residents to switch to electric vehicles. The Charge Up! program incentivizes cities to reduce air pollution by encouraging the use of electric vehicles.  

The charging stations behind city hall are mainly for use by city vehicles but will also be open to the public. “If people come into town, the charging stations will be in a centralized area within a walkable distance to the downtown area,” Griswold said.

The Charge Up! program allows cities to receive up to $50,000 annually per site to purchase electric vehicle chargers. The grant reimburses cities up to $5,000 for Level 2 Single Ports and $6,000 for Level 2 Dual Ports.

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