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.