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California Energy Commission approves $114.3 million for electric and ethanol vehicle infrastructure

June 24, 2010 |  1:09 pm

Owners of eco-friendly vehicles in California are now $114.3 million closer to having workable options for charging and fueling up.

The California Energy Commission approved three awards to help set up electric- and ethanol-powered vehicle infrastructure around the state. Of the funds, $15.4 million comes from state coffers, $49.6 million is federal money and $49.3 million comes from private sources.

One project, a partnership between Electric Transportation Engineering Corp. and Nissan Motor Co., will establish up to 1,000 residential chargers and 1,300 commercial ones, as well as 60 “Level 3 fast chargers,” in San Diego County.

Program participants will shell out $32.6 million on top of the $8 million provided by the energy commission and $39.4 million from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Nissan will deploy 1,000 of its new Leaf electric vehicles in the market and study their performance, leading eventually to the release of 242,000 Nissan electric vehicles by 2015.

The commission awarded a $3.4-million grant to a project by Coulomb Technologies of Campbell, Calif., to build 1,667 charging stations in the San Francisco, Sacramento and Los Angeles areas, adding almost $3.4 million more in federal stimulus funds. Coulomb, already involved in a project to set up 4,600 stations for free around the country, and its partners will put up $508,000.

The third grant from the commission, worth $4 million, will go toward building 75 ethanol-based fuel filling stations around the state. Partners, including California’s Department of General Services, Propel Fuels Inc., the East Bay Clean Cities Coalition, CALSTART and the Local Conservation Corps of California will provide $16.3 million in funding. The federal energy department will pitch in $6.9 million.

-- Tiffany Hsu