By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

San Francisco’s pilot project for plug-in vehicles officially launched today at City Hall with the unveiling of outlet stations for electric cars in the city fleet.

The “Smartlet Networked Charging Stations” will allow plug-in fleet and car-share vehicles to recharge while their drivers are working nearby.

The city and Coluomb Technologies, maker of the plug-in stations, partnered on the two-year project to showcase how driving electric vehicles needn’t sacrifice convenience, and can maximize range, when daytime plug-in options are available.

“Our goal is to transform the Bay Area into the EV (electric vehicle) Capital of the United States, and a networked infrastructure is essential for the adoption of electric vehicles,” said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom in a news release. “San Francisco is proud to be the first city to feature charging stations with technology to support our city’s clean electric fleet vehicles and car-share fleets.”

The installation features three of Coulomb’s charging stations across the street from City Hall. The stations are networked into a system that can track the energy used. In addition, the system provides a “Fleet Management Portal” that displays the gasoline and greenhouse gases saved by the electric cars and which vehicles are fully charges and which are overdue for charging.

Said Richard Lowenthal, CEO of Silicon Valley-based Coulomb Technologies: “A smart, networked infrastructure is an essential enabler of this (green) movement and the City of San Francisco is leading by example. The success and adoption of electric vehicles will require progressive leadership by drivers, utilities, governments, and businesses. We commend and thank the City and Mayor Newsom for welcoming EV’s to the San Francisco Bay Area.”

Coloumb’s “Smartlet” charging stations offer a menu of plug-in capabilities, from 120V 15A to 240V 80A AC charging to 120kW DC, designed to accommodate different vehicles.

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