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Palo Alto hopes to give apartment dwellers a way to power up electric vehicles

Original post made on May 31, 2023

Seeking to make progress on its ambitious climate-change goals, Palo Alto is preparing to launch new programs to construct electric-vehicle charging stations at apartment complexes and carbon-free HVAC systems in commercial buildings.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, May 30, 2023, 9:08 PM

Comments (11)

Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 31, 2023 at 7:51 am

Bystander is a registered user.

Will these charging facilities be first come first served, or can they be reserved? And will they have to be vacated as soon as the vehicle is fully charged, or a penalty charged? In other words, can someone come home at the end of the day being able to park and charge overnight ready to leave the following day.

Additionally, what will the City do to make sure there is enough power for all these new power drains? Are we still getting all our power from the lines across the Bay, on the same power line that was damaged when a small plane flew into one. On that well remembered day, all of Palo Alto was without power for 12 hours? If a similar disaster hit one of those pylons in the Bay (hopefully not another crash causing loss of life), would a similar thing happen or are we now able to get power into the City from another incoming line?

It is all well and good talking about the things in the article, but without reliable and efficient power we could well be draining more power than we have available.

Posted by BobH
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 31, 2023 at 10:39 am

BobH is a registered user.

"The program would provide chargers for 1,100 dwellings in multi-family developments by December 2025"

I think this is very good and nice to see. This will make it more practical for people who live in multi-family homes to own an EV. However, I do have some questions. Good if the author of this article did some more research:

1) What percentage is 1,100 of all of the multi-family units in Palo Alto?
2) What is the ratio of chargers per unit?
3) Who pays for the electricity used?

Also, in general, what is the city doing itself to go all electric? I would like to know how many EVs the city owned and what percentage of that of the city vehicle fleet is EV? Anyone seen an EV police car?

Similar questions for city buildings.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 31, 2023 at 11:04 am

Online Name is a registered user.

Maybe Mr Burt should recognize that the various initiatives are much more "ambitious" than realistic or successful and stop the virtue-signalling.

Has it dawned on him yet that the renters just don't care because THEY know they're transients who'll be long gone?? Preaching to the indifferent doesn't work and basing the city priorities on surveys weighted toward them doesn't work as shown by their lousy response rate.

Maybe we need to hire a few more consultants who can do some more studies?

Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 31, 2023 at 3:30 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

Thank you BobH for what I think will become an "I gotcha", once the answer to your question is provided. I'd like to know how many hours will be spent by staff and CC members to come up with a good answer...or excuse!

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 31, 2023 at 3:51 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

@Gale Johhson, indeed. Given the poor track record, I want to know how much these "unrealistic" aspirations are costing us in view of all our other more pressing priorities -- like unfunded pension liabilities and our inability to hire a part-time clerk to compile a weekly crime report.

So clever that we pay someone $175,000 a year to give out $100,000 in public transit passes when even Gov. Newsom is cutting transit subsidies and public transit has severely cut back on services.

Posted by Sherry Listgarten
a resident of Greenmeadow
on May 31, 2023 at 5:14 pm

Sherry Listgarten is a registered user.

@BobH: Some of your questions are at least partially answered in the summary 3-year S/CAP work plan that the City Council is reviewing this coming Monday night. See (this is a download) here: Web Link

On page 9 it says that 1100 units represents 10% of multi-family households.
On page 13 there is information about the city's own electrification efforts.

The meeting is late, but you could dial in or send questions to City Council.

Posted by Paly02
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 31, 2023 at 5:53 pm

Paly02 is a registered user.

I'm a huge fan of the Heat Pump Water Heater pilot, but I worry that we only have 8 installations out of the 1000 we're supposed to have and it's June already. I believe installations were supposed to start in January? Do we yet have the capacity to install 1000 in a year, if the year started June 1st?

Posted by Sherry Listgarten
a resident of Greenmeadow
on May 31, 2023 at 7:55 pm

Sherry Listgarten is a registered user.

@Paly02: My understanding from what Jonathan Abendschein said is the near-term goal is to hit and sustain *the rate* needed to install 1000 in a year, namely 20 per week. Then they can evaluate where they are. He did say that he fully expects (and is already seeing) that things will accelerate, that they naturally get faster/easier as the program progresses and initial wrinkles get ironed out.

Posted by Paly02
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 31, 2023 at 8:02 pm

Paly02 is a registered user.

@Sherry Listgarten - thanks for the update!

Posted by BobH
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 1, 2023 at 10:33 am

BobH is a registered user.

@Sherry Listgarten

Thanks, I will take a look.

I note that only doing 10% of multi-family households is going to have little effect on EV adoption for people living in multi-family units. Needs to be 100%.

Another case of the the city suggesting something that sounds good, but won't be effective if it really wants to reduce emissions.

Posted by BobH
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 1, 2023 at 10:43 am

BobH is a registered user.

I looked at page 13 of the report. Under

Work item 2.4D Electrify City Vehicle Fleet

current status is:

"There are two units identified in FY23 for potential EV replacements, pending manufacturer availability and cost"

Given the availability of EVs from Tesla, Ford, GM, etc., etc., this is a clear sign the city is not taking this seriously.

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