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Electric cars spark local development, charging stations

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Posted: Thursday, January 2, 2014 12:00 am

Electric vehicle motorists traveling roundtrip from Stockton to Sacramento might need a boost to get to their final destination.

A charging station in downtown Galt could not only be a benefit to electric vehicle drivers, but a boon to the city’s economy, Greg Chew, senior planner for the Sacramento Area Council of Governments, told Planning Commissioners this fall.

He said Galt is an ideal stop for motorists who want to “top off” their electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf, which can travel up to 100 miles on a full charge. People might spend an hour or two eating or shopping while their vehicles are charging, Chew said.

City Manager Jason Behrmann has been contacted by a resident who suggested installing a charging station near Brewster’s restaurant in Old Town.

“We have not really researched possible locations, but a location at City Hall (or) downtown Galt would probably make the most sense,” he said.

Following the Planning Commission presentation, Community Development Director Sandy Kiriu said the city’s General Plan encourages good air quality projects, and a charging station for plug-in vehicles could be one of them.

“It would support the green energy goals in our General Plan,” Behrmann said.

Sacramento Municipal Utility District, which serves Galt and Sacramento County, already has an incentive program to install an electric charging station at no cost to the city or property owner. The property owner would be responsible for maintaining the upkeep of the charging station.

There are seven charging stations within Lodi city limits, although only two were active in 2013. There are plans to retrofit them so that they can accept ATM cards.

Other new construction projects, including Walmart stores such as the one being built in Galt, are including outlets for charging stations. Statewide, new home projects are also required to install outlets, according to Mike Payne, a Sacramento County building inspector.

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

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