Tesla & Pasadena Will Cooperate To Build Largest Fast Charging Facility In Western US

Convergence. It’s what happens when two competing ideas begin to merge. For the past 7 years, Tesla has been going it alone when it comes to building charging infrastructure for the electric cars is produces. Its Supercharger locations were dedicated solely to Tesla drivers. If you drove a LEAF or a Chevy Bolt, you were on your own. Now, Tesla and the city of Pasadena have agreed to a five year plan that will see them cooperate on the construction of the largest EV fast charging facility in the western United States.

On March 11, the Pasadena city council voted 7–0 to move forward with the plan. Tesla will install 24 of its Superchargers on the roof of the Marengo parking garage on East Green Street. Here’s the kicker: While Tesla is doing that, it will do something it has never done before. It will pay to install the basic electrical wiring needed to install another 20 Level 3 fast chargers. That will save the city about $140,000 in capital costs, reports the Pasadena Star-News. Pasadena currently has one public Level 3 charger and no Superchargers.

Joel Levin, executive director of Plug In America, says Tesla and Pasadena are creating a new model by locating so many chargers in one site in an urban setting. The installation will benefit not just retailers but EV owners who live in downtown condos and townhouses who do not have charging equipment.

“This is a new model. Putting in charging station groupings in denser areas for people with longer-range vehicles who live in apartments,” he says. “They can charge there once a week and they are good. It is really cutting edge.”

For Pasadena, the new chargers will help it reach its long-term carbon reduction goals. And what’s in it for Tesla? That’s easy. Free advertising. For a company that aggressively avoids advertising its products, keeping its name in front of the public is critical. This way, all those people who bought a dowdy Chevy Bolt or Nissan LEAF can stare at the Teslas nearby and think to themselves, “Someday I will own a Tesla.” That makes the $140,000 Tesla will spend to help get other high-power charging equipment installed seem like a bargain.

By providing fast chargers, cities can attract zero-emission vehicles that do not add to smog and greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Pasadena says the Marengo Charging Plaza will help it attain its climate action plan goals, while providing more business to both Paseo Colorado and Old Pasadena retail areas.


Tesla & Pasadena Will Cooperate To Build Largest Fast Charging Facility In Western US, by Steve Hanley, Clean Technica, March 13, 2019.

10,000 Fast Chargers By 2025 In California ZEV Plan

The California 2018 ZEV Action Plan contains some striking figures, like the fact that over 410,000 ZEVs have been sold in California, and 150,000 since October 2016. Another is that more than twice as many zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) models are available in California now compared to October 2016. Tyson Eckerle, Deputy Director for ZEV Infrastructure, answered some questions about ZEVs in California for CleanTechnica, including about the fast chargers.

Governor Brown signed an Executive Order to support 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) on California roads by 2025, on the path to 5 million ZEVs by 2030. With the new governor, are those targets still active and valid?


What is the roadmap to reach each one?

Success hinges on actions from all parties: industry investment, state incentives and strong regulatory frameworks, consumer awareness, workforce development, local initiatives, etc. At the state, our role is to work with all stakeholders to create conditions for market success.

Is the target to install 250,000 EV chargers still valid?

The target is still valid. It reflects modeling done by the California Energy Commission and National Renewable Energy Lab. We will continue to learn as the market develops, and make adjustments as necessary.

How many will be slow chargers and how many will be fast?

EO B 48-18 targets 10,000 fast chargers by 2025. These are a subset of the 250,000 goal.

How many EV chargers are there in CA currently?

We currently have 17,875 public chargers (at 4,800 stations). This number includes DC Fast chargers (2,602 chargers at 639 stations), and Level 2 chargers (15,273 chargers at 4,394 stations).

The numbers above are only public stations. The 250,000 target includes shared, private chargers at workplaces and MUDs. This private station data is not readily available, however, we know it measures in the 10’s of thousands.

Why is it important to get more ZEVs on the roads, and are ZEVs all electric vehicles only?

California’s transportation sector accounts for 50% of our GHG emissions, in addition to creating a significant share of criteria pollutants. Only ZEVs have the ability to eliminate all pollution, starting with the tailpipe and moving upstream to production and distribution. ZEVs include battery electric vehicles (BEVs), hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).

Is the state of CA working with ZEV manufacturers to get more on the roads, with tax credits or other incentives like rebates?

The state has a suite of policies dedicated to getting more ZEVs on the road. Our Consumer Vehicle Rebate Project gives rebates to qualified customers, manufactures have benefited from tax incentives in two robust programs: GO-Biz’s California Competes tax credit program and the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority (CAETFA) program run by the Treasurer’s Office. Additionally, the California Energy Commission, Air Resources Board, and Utilities (overseen by the Public Utilities Commission and Energy Commission) are investing in market enabling ZEV infrastructure (both plug-in chargers and hydrogen fueling stations).

Will the state of CA support group buy programs with discounts for new vehicle buyers?

Our Department of General Services recently made it possible to state and local government employees to purchase select ZEVs at the state contract price (previously, the contract prices could only be accessed by government entities).  This comes in addition the rebates offered through the statewide Consumer Vehicle Rebate Project and the Enhanced Fleet Modernization Program currently available in the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District and South Coast Air Quality Management District Jurisdictions.

How many ZEVs are on California roads right now?

We just passed 500,000 ZEVs sold in California. I typically refer to for the specific count, but the website is down at the moment.

If the state of CA can have 5 million ZEVs on the roads by 2030, are there any estimates for how much air quality might improve?

We don’t have estimates that single out ZEVs from the broader Advanced Clean Cars rules. The closest estimate we have is in the 2016 Mobile Source Strategy done by ARB. In the report, ARB estimates that Advanced Clean Cars 2, which includes 4.2M ZEVs and cleaner tailpipe measures, would result in 2 tons/day statewide NOx reductions.


10,000 Fast Chargers By 2025 In California ZEV Plan, by Jake Richardson, Clean Technica, December 13, 2018.