DVC planning to have electric car charging stations within the next nine months


Chris Core

The current Electric Car Charging Station at DVC located in the staff parking lot.

Chris Core, Senior staff member

Diablo Valley College has a plan to add nine dual electric vehicle (EV) charging stations for a total of 18 parking spots where those cars can charge on the campus.

John Nahlen, Vice President of of business and administration services, informed Diablo Valley College’s College Council of plans at their April 4th meeting.

A grant from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District was approved in March making it so the EV charging stations must be installed within in the next nine months.

The grant is a total of $80,000 with DVC, San Ramon, Contra Costa Community College and Los Medanos each receiving $20,000 for the project.

The plan is led by Tracy Marcial, the district energy manager, and would add nine total dual charging stations to DVC parking lots.

“The EV charging projects seek to add charging stations to each campus for faculty, staff, student and the surrounding community to be able to charge their zero emission electric vehicles,” said Marcial.

The desire to make more charging stations is mostly based off a transportation survey ran by 511 Contra Costa.

The survey asked students and staff about their transportation preferences and found that 7.5 percent of the people surveyed have electric or plug in vehicles. 72 percent said that they would charge more often if charging stations were more available and 41 percent answered that they would be willing to pay a fee of use for a level 2 charging station.

The district and the college will be developing a pricing structure for charging services,” said Nahlen. “The charging stations that we are installing will allow for a pricing structure that will automatically start charging a higher hourly rate after vehicles have been fully charged or for a set time frame.  The higher hourly rate will encourage the vehicle owner to move their vehicle to avoid the high rates.”

Amount of energy needed to maintain these stations will also affect the decision making for how much it will cost to park at one of the stations.

“Installing EVCS will increase our electricity bills and thus our utility costs at each campus,” said Marcial. “But also provide more access to zero emission vehicles for our campuses and surrounding communities.”

Additional funding for this project will come from a PG&E EV program.

“A large part of the project costs go toward the electrical infrastructure needed to be able to power the charging stations,” said Marcial.

If successfully accepted into the PG&E program the price of the infrastructure of the charging stations would be fully covered.

All colleges involved in the project are at different phases of the PG&E program with Contra Costa Community College and San Ramon furthest along in the process.

Currently there are only two charging stations at DVC in the staff parking lot in lot 4 near the life and health sciences building.

“We are hopeful it will encourage other faculty,staff,students and our surrounding community to consider purchasing or leasing EVs in the future,” said Marcial.