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A Place to Recharge proposes that the city of San Francisco allow homeowners who do not have a designated space (such as an appropriately sized garage) to charge an electric vehicle to purchase an annual permit at a nominal fee (suggested: $300 annually for every homeowner-only evening access and shared daytime use for other ev’s) that would give the home owner permitted owner parking in front of their home where an electric charging device could be installed. 


This would ensure that the car and homeowner would have a dependable place at which to charge their electric vehicle. Because parking can be extremely challenging, especially for the mass return from work each weekday evening, the opportunity to have such a parking place would be a strong motivation for the purchase of an electric vehicle (including plug-in hybrids). This project could serve the city of San Francisco and California state and the U.S. as an important pilot project making it a model to be replicated and thus create a huge carbon emission and particulate matter reduction. As a shared-use charging station is vacated, other EV drivers could be alerted to its availability via an app.


1.  If 1,000 homeowners purchased a permit @ $300 each, that would be $300,000 income to San Francisco, annually. Additionally, the city would reap additional funds from parking tickets and towing fees for those not respecting the designated charging place. The permit fee would be for administrative costs. The homeowners would pay for the costs of creating the infrastructure (bringing their electricity curbside), and hopefully there would be state and federal rebates to make it affordable for lower income homeowners. 


2.  There are many types of charging “stations” available, and some allow for a card to be inserted for charging, so that the homeowner could allow for other electric car users to use the charger at a time not needed by the homeowner, for example weekdays from 9-5 when the homeowner has left the home to commute to work. This would provide additional charging opportunities for others, for example neighbors who work from home and could easily move their car when the owner is away.


3.  Additionally, rebates could be offered to homeowners who either are further motivated to install solar energy units or panels on their homes, or already have solar, making it possible for people to run their cars on sunshine rather than fossil fuels, increasing the number of solar powered homes in San Francisco.


4.  Jobs would be created from bringing the electricity curbside, the installation of the charging units, additional solar systems, additional production and sale of electric vehicles, and more than likely parking designation via poles or curb painting. 


5.  Realtors would find it easier to sell homes that do not have a garage, as this would provide a dedicated parking place for the homeowner, and the value of such homes would increase, benefitting the realtor, the home owner and the city. 


6.  The parties benefitting from this permit policy: electric vehicle companies, charging unit companies, solar companies, electricians, and realtors might be willing to contribute to rebates or reduced fees, and additionally, there may be possible tax rebates, state and/or federal grants to both facilitate the implementation of this new policy and to make it affordable for homeowners. Should the city determine that specific companies would have contracts to install the charging units, there may be possible a reduction in price of both the units and installation based on a mass rather than individual purchase or contract.


7.  The carbon footprint would be reduced, and would likely continue to reduce while the income from this policy would increase each year as more homeowners take advantage of this opportunity.


8. Particulate matter related to fossil fuel exhaust from vehicles would be reduced. This is particularly important in San Francisco, due to the high rate of respiratory illness. One in three children in Bayview/ Hunter’s point suffer from respiratory illness. 


9.  Many homeowners would have a major problem in their lives, the daily evening search for a parking place, solved in a way that greatly helps the environment.


10. Apartment dwellers would have convenient, residential access to daytime charging for a greater length of time  than business areas with metered chargers (with limited time use which is insufficient for a complete charge),via homeowners who opt for shared use of their charging unit via a cheaper permit and a charging unit that features the use of a credit card for reimbursement to the homeowner for the electricity.

This policy dovetails well with an already identified goal of the city of San Francisco to provide greater opportunities for electric vehicle charging. As several car companies are manufacturing more electric cars, the demand for accessible charging will increase.

Additional Relevant Facts

The average car emits 6 tons of carbon dioxide annually.  One gallon of gas emits 24 pounds of carbon dioxide and other global warming gases.  19 pounds of that comes right out of the car’s tailpipe. (Source: Union of Concerned Scientists)


Conclusion: If San Francisco replaced 1,000 gas powered cars with electric powered cars, San Francisco would have 1,200,000 pounds LESS carbon dioxide annually.


60% of U.S. transportation emissions come from cars and trucks. 


Transportation produces 30% of all U.S. global warming emissions.


There are now currently about 765,000 plug-in electric vehicles in the United States, and 48% of them are in California.


The Federal tax credit for electric cars is $7,500.  There are other rebates available from the state. These rebates make electric cars and plug-in hybrids far more affordable. For example, a Chevy Volt , after the state tax rebate, costs  about $26,640, but after the federal credit costs about $20,000.  A Nissan Leaf, after tax rebates costs $21, 510 . This cost is very competitive with conventionally powered cars.

If the electric capacity of a house first needed to be upgraded, the cost to bring an electrical line to the curb, including the upgrade would be approximately $3,000.  Otherwise that cost would be between $800 – and $3,000, depending on the particulars of that home.  (consulted several electrical contractors and there was consensus on this price).


One brand of charger, which allows for a card to be inserted for another user, retails for about $3,490. This would be a 240 volt 30 amp charger, already installed in some parking lots in San Francisco.  Should the city purchase many of these, the price could be reduced.  There are many styles of chargers that retail for far less, but most do not have the card capacity. 


San Francisco has 143,981 single family residential homes and 35,452 multi-family residential homes. Total: 179,433 residential homes (source: San Francisco Tax Assessor’s office) The tax assessor does not have the number of residential homes that have garages.  Conclusion: The 1,000 initial goal of the number of homeowners who participate in the  “A Place To Recharge” is a modest goal that could easily grow as the programs’ success becomes  known, and hence the carbon dioxide reduction and city income from the program could also grow.

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