SMUD unveils electric vehicle fast-charge station Pilot project enables EV drivers to recharge in 30 minutes or less
Drivers of electric vehicles need not fear running out of juice too far from home in the Sacramento area. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) has a new EV fast-charge station at the SMUD campus that is open for business. The pilot project's technology charges most fast-charge EVs in less than 30 minutes, giving drivers the range confidence to fully realize the tremendous potential these cars offer.
The station features the only fast charger in the region with dual capability to accommodate most types of EVs manufactured by domestic and foreign automakers. This station is one of the world's first commercial installations of certified DC fast-charge hardware that meets the new industry standard. It is also one of the first fast-charge stations in the U.S. installed by a utility and the first that SMUD will open in the area in 2014. The electric to gasoline comparison is about $2 a 'gallon' to fast charge versus $4 for a gallon of gasoline.
The project is the next step in a quarter-century effort by SMUD to improve local air quality by advancing clean alternative-fuel transportation, as well as cleaner power sources. The station is a joint SMUD, General Motors and U.S. Department of Energy project. Funding for this station comes from the sale of carbon credits.
Plug-in electric vehicles are far more advanced and can even charge using a normal 120-volt home outlet. SMUD makes it easy to get plugged in and on the road. SMUD provides a special rate, one of the lowest in the state, to make plugging in instead of pumping gas even more affordable. The at-home rate equals 60 cents per gallon for charging after midnight. Drivers can save upwards of $1,800 a year compared to a gasoline car.
Environmental leadership is one of the SMUD Board of Directors' core values. SMUD made its original commitment to electric vehicles in 1989 and has continuously supported electric vehicles as they help improve the air quality in the Sacramento region and reduce dependency on oil.
Through the years SMUD has partnered with a host of major automakers, entrepreneurs, universities and other technology developers regarding all types of electric vehicles. This range of expertise is nationally recognized and provides Sacramento with a knowledge base to support the current wave of electric vehicles. SMUD currently operates 15 plug-in electric vehicles and will be purchasing nine additional vehicles by the end of the year and has long-term fleet deployment plans that will increase the fleet to 54 by 2017.
As the nation's sixth-largest community-owned electric service provider, SMUD has been providing low-cost, reliable electricity for more than 65 years to Sacramento County (and a small portion of Placer County). SMUD is a recognized industry leader and award winner for its innovative energy efficiency programs, renewable power technologies, and for its sustainable solutions for a healthier environment. SMUD is the first large California utility to receive more than 20 percent of its energy from renewable resources.