The late TV news Tuesday offered a brief snippet about how San Jose is encouraging the installation of free electric vehicle charging stations.
The video clip included the San Jose mayor, Chuck Reed, who like other politicians wants to wrap himself in the popularity of AEVs. The announcement won free publicity for Coulomb Technologies and its ChargePoint network, as well as Richard Lowenthal, CEO of the Campbell-based company.
The near-term impact of these installations will be minimal. Even here in the Bay Area, CBS 5 estimated there are only about 1,000 electric vehicles. A quick check shows that there are 4.3 million vehicles here, or EVs accounting for less than a quarter-percent.
Of course, there is a huge chicken and egg question for true ZEVs, both EVs and also FCVs. So leading the market (to a certain level) makes sense, but obviously we need a larger pool of EVs in consumer hands to justify more stations. (My sense is that PHEVs will not generate any demand for the stations). If we don’t get cars and drivers, then these stations will whither away they did after the EV1 fizzled out.