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Driving Your EV to Half Moon Bay, California is About to get Easier — Almost

January 10, 2015

Half Moon Bay, California and the Coastside is about to become an easier destination for electric vehicle drivers — well. almost. The city is planning to install a charging station for electric cars in its downtown, the Half Moon Bay Review reported. This is great news, and the city should be applauded for spending $18,000 on the project.

However, there is one glitch. City officials say they have no plans to limit the parking to electric vehicles, meaning that gas-powered vehicles will be able to take the space with no punishment. And, if anyone has every visited downtown Half Moon Bay on a weekend, they know that parking is at a premium. The city is a popular tourist destination, and so EV drivers are almost guaranteed to get “ICED.” out.

This is too bad because the city says this is a pilot project and future installation of charging stations by the city will depend on how often vehicles charge up in town.  Without alternatives, EV drivers who drive “over the hill” will need to be guaranteed a charging opportunity in order to have enough charge to make it home after a visit to the coastside.  Allowing non-EVs to park there reduces the chances that EVs will be able to use the charger, which will be free for two hours of charging, and then between 40 cents and 60 cents an hour after two hours.

The only other non-residential chargers in Half Moon Bay are at the Rtiz Carlton hotel, and they are for guests and customers of the hotel who must pay for parking there.

Certainly, the city should be given credit for trying, and it would appear that the decision to allow gas vehicles to park there too likely stems from a lack of understanding of electric vehicles, and the fact that a Nissan Leaf with extremely low charge would need up to  six hours of charging time. I plan to explain this to city officials in a letter to the town manager and the Half Moon Bay Review. I encourage the rest of you to do the same.

Who knows perhaps we will see you soon on Coastside. The new charging station is expected to be in operation by the end of January.

The full article in the Half Moon Bay Review about the charging station is here 

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