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Los Gatos Has Four New Electric Car Charging Stations

Los Gatos Vice Mayor Barbara Spector makes the announcement to the delight of clean tech enthusiast Mike Calise.

Los Gatos now has four new in downtown parking lots, Vice Mayor Barbara Spector announced during the May 21 Council meeting .

The town was looking at different vendors and manufacturers, including , which has received funding from a federal Department of Energy grant to help municipalities provide the stations to the public.

The access points are located at:

  • South parking lot across the street from the
  • Parking lot 5, between Elm and Main streets
  • Parking lot 3, between Royce Street and Grays Lane (two at this location behind the former Domus building)

Each station cost the town about $2,000 to install.

Los Gatos resident Mike Calise, founder and CEO of EVAdvise—an independent electric car advisory firm that has no partnership agreements with any company—has provided market analysis for the town pro-bono to educate its residents on the emerging technology.

"It's been a long time coming, but the Council, manager and staff's patience on installing community EV chargers has finally paid off," Calise said.

Los Gatos was wise to wait for federal and state funding that ultimately paid for the charging station equipment and installation, and now that the volume of EVs is increasing, the town can support the growing demand, he explained.

"Los Gatos is a gateway between the Peninsula and the coast, and is an ideal place to charge your car. These stations invite drivers to stop in Los Gatos and enjoy all that it has to offer while their cars get a charge allowing them to extend their trip," he said. "This is a win-win situation for local businesses and people passing through."

The chargers are based on a common standard called J-1772 Plug for virtually all new electric vehicles coming to the market including Chevy Volt, Nissan LEAF, Ford Focus, Toyota Plug-In Prius and RAV 4, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Fisker Karma  and BMW that can simply plug in and charge.

The Tesla Roadster and new Model S will need a driver-owned adaptor, he explained, adding that the town chose an unorthodox scheme that is preferred parking for EVs but the parking stalls can be shared with gas-powered vehicles.

The town considered this a good compromise until it sees EV demand grow, but that demand has been surprisingly strong already because the South Bay is a hotbed for new EVs and Los Gatos has a lot to offer, he said.

As the community becomes more educated on the availability of the chargers, and voices interest, the town will likely consider other options for usage and billing, he noted.

"The town took great initiative to install these because when prospective car buyers see many available chargers, it sways their decision to go EV. This works hand in hand to reduce carbon emissions and pollution in Los Gatos, as well as begins the trend for much quieter Los Gatos streets in the future," Calise stated.

Susan G June 11, 2012 at 03:41 PM
The Green Team at Blossom Hill School is trying to put together a mini electric car show as part of the school's Harvest Festival in October. If anyone out there has an electric vehicle they'd like to show off for a few hours, please contact us at greenteam@blossomhill.org
Jane Darwin June 11, 2012 at 05:58 PM
I can see a day where parking meters are also charging stations where you pay for parking and also for the charge. Wonder what those will cost communities?
Jesse Ducker June 11, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Good for Los Gatos to get on board now. These are going to be more and more prevalent as the months and years pass.
Larry Arzie June 11, 2012 at 09:01 PM
A needed service. Not so happy about loosing parking spaces to seldom used charging stations. Last time I heard about this council did not want to use parking spaces for this purpose. I guess good intentions are better than actual deeds.
Lu Ann Flechsig June 13, 2012 at 03:34 AM
We have an all electric Nissa Leaf. It's great. Actually, one of our biggest gripes is that we only have one. The only other downside is that you can't really go long distances with it, but as they start to install quick chargers, it will become more feasible.
Isis Moonheart June 13, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Let's use solar to power them!
buenavista June 14, 2012 at 05:17 PM
To save parking spaces they could have been installed inside the Art Museum in downtown. We could add charging stations to the Plein Air and have local artists paint them each with an individual design. I think the double doors are wide enough, especially since those beautiful cat sculptures were removed a few years ago. Larry, you could make it a one-way thorough fare, entering from NSC and exiting into the Lot behind.
Larry Arzie June 14, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Dear buenavista. I warned you not to drink so early in the morning. You have slurred your thoughts so badly your confusing the Museum Art Gallery with the old Los Gatos Porch building. Not very credible. I can direct you to where the cast cement cat sculptures are still made if you want a pair.
Mike Calise June 15, 2012 at 02:57 AM
Susan and the folks on Blossom Hill's Green Team, I would be glad to support the Green Teams for all grade school, middle school and high school initiatives that promote EV community education and awareness. Once you know, you tend to go, and it's important to offer forums to the community for gaining accurate knowledge about EVs and chargers. I can help with that... Best, Mike Calise (LinkedIn)
Sleezy Alcoholic June 18, 2012 at 10:30 PM
I thought Larry owned that building that had the Cats removed too. I think that was buenavistas point? and I thought the response was TIC. I think the charging stations are from a more visionary perspective which I applaud.
Larry Arzie June 18, 2012 at 11:46 PM
Dear Sleezy, Glad to clear it up for you. There was nothing TIC in Buena Vista's rant. She mixed up the Los Gatos Museum with the Museum Gallery which I sponsor. Napa Style is where the Lyons were not the Museum on Tait Ave or the Museum Gallery. They were decorative new items of no historical value, and since I don't own the building any longer her point was lost in her confusion. It came accross as demeaning both to the Plien Air artists and the Morning Rotary on the heels of the Morning Rotarys Art Show in the Plaza last Saturday. Now that I know what she was trying to say, I give her more credit. I like the idea of the stations being more artistic in nature. Actually I liked her idea of putting a wall around the Town. (Now that's tongue and cheek) It is so much nicer not to be mean and hateful. One lives longer too.
D. December 09, 2012 at 11:51 PM
I bought a new electric car 3 weeks ago and have only been able to plug in once at the library due to other cars in the parking stalls. The demand by electric cars has already exceeded the supply of these. At work, we have to cue up to use the few available.
Sandy Vaurs January 02, 2013 at 01:23 AM
Are the parking slots restricted to EV cars only or are gasoline powered cars allowed to park in the charging station slots? One of my friends has complained that the slots are almost always occupied by gasoline powered cars and he cannot use the chargers for his Nissan Leaf.
D. January 02, 2013 at 06:52 AM
Anyone can park in them. I have the same issue with my electric car, can never use them. Waste of taxpayer money.
Jennifer Creek Sant'Anna February 01, 2013 at 01:19 AM
Surely there are enough EV in LG or coming to LG that they could designate these parking spaces EV only, for cars that are actively charging. According to Edmunds, "How long can a plug-in vehicle occupy a charging spot?" "Contrary to what many seem to believe, those "EV Only" parking spots at public charging stations aren't parking places. They're just like the concrete pads in front of gas pumps. They are spaces that should be occupied only while the vehicle is being refueled. So occupy the space only as long as you need it for charging. Don't think of it as a preferred spot at your favorite mall or parking garage. Others need to charge, too, and if your car is just sitting there after having been recharged, you are doing a disservice to fellow plug-in drivers."
Jonathan Knowles February 19, 2013 at 12:40 AM
Hearing from more and more people with electric vehicles that the "Los Gatos charging stations are a joke." That is a shame. Word has gotten around that people just use them as regular parking spaces and they are never really available for charging. Seems like it is time to at least evaluate usage for electric vehicles only. A pilot? Would hope if we do, drivers would take Jennifer Creek Sant'Anna's request to heart.

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