The Stanislaus Council of Governments board on Wednesday night could adopt a study over a year in the making, which details exactly how many electric vehicles the county can expect on the road in the next 15 years and where they’ll be able to charge.
As of 2020, there were approximately 2,600 EVs registered in Stanislaus County. Projections in the study, conducted by the global consulting firm ICF and launched in January 2021, say that there could be anywhere from 60,000 to over 180,000 EVs locally by 2035. In order to support the low-end estimate of 60,000 EVs, Stanislaus County would need to add 8,500 chargers of various levels throughout the area.
There are three charger types that would support demand in the years to come: Level 1 chargers, Level 2 chargers and direct current fast chargers (DCFCs). Level 1 chargers are standard wall outlets that give EVs two to five miles of range per one hour of charging, while Level 2 chargers, more commonly installed at residences, give battery electric vehicles (BEVs) 10 to 20 miles of range per one hour of charging. DCFCs give BEVs 60 to 80 miles of range per 20 minutes of charging and are more common in publicly accessible spaces.
Should Stanislaus County reach the greater estimate of over 180,000 new EVs on the road, over 21,000 chargers of these types would be necessary: more than 20,000 Level 2 chargers and over 1,000 DCFCs.
There are currently about 100 public chargers in Stanislaus County, though many have restrictions. For example, Stanislaus State is home to nine chargers — but you must have a parking permit to utilize them. When stations like this one are accounted for, there are only 38 Level 2 plugs and 30 DCFC plugs available to the public in Stanislaus County.
In Turlock, there are seven separate locations where EV drivers can charge their cars, though two (Stanislaus State and Las Casuelas Restaurant) are private charging stations. There are two public Level 2 chargers at Monte Vista Small Animal Hospital, one at Smith Chevrolet Cadillac, four at the Roger K. Fall Transit Center and two at the Hampton Inn. There are four DCFC plugs at the Walmart on Fulkerth Road.
Included in the study’s county-wide charger are recommendations on where the incoming influx of new chargers should be placed. There are five locations proposed for Turlock, including two DCFC chargers in Monte Vista Crossings, one at the Valley View Center Plaza near Michael’s, two in the Lander Marketplace and one at the Turlock Public Library. Additionally, two Level 2 chargers are proposed for the Stanislaus County Superior Court on Starr Avenue.
These new chargers are meant to supplement at-home chargers, the report says, and adoption of the report by StanCOG on Wednesday evening wouldn’t mean the new charging sites are a sure thing. And while slower-charging, four-plug stations would cost an estimated $31,000, larger and faster charging stations at the price of $305,000 would be beneficial for more vehicles. According to the study, state and federal funding would help support the effort.
For information on how to participate in Wednesday evening’s StanCOG meeting, which begins at 6 p.m., visit www.stancog.org.