Electric vehicle (EV) drivers have a new resource in the Sacramento region — a fast-charge station located immediately adjacent to the Interstate 80 freeway at 7825 Lichen Drive in Citrus Heights. The fast-charge station is just the second in the region to accommodate most types of EVs manufactured by foreign and domestic automakers, and it’s one of the first installed in the U.S. by a utility.
Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) launched the station June 3, in an event showcasing the EV fast-charger and demonstration of the technology, along with a SMUD Nissan Leaf EV drive and ride.
SMUD installed the first electric vehicle fast charger in the region last year near at its headquarters and plans to open more fast-charge stations in the coming years.
EV drivers will pay approximately $2 per “gallon” to charge up using the station — about 40 percent less than the current price of gasoline. By using technology that charges vehicles at 480 volts — four times that of a standard household outlet — fast-charge-capable vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Spark EV, BMW i3 and others can fill up about 80 percent of their batteries in 30 minutes or less.
“By installing another fast charger near a major freeway, we’re making it easier for EV drivers to travel farther from home and worry less about finding their next charge,” said Ralph Troute, electric vehicle project manager at SMUD. “In the time it takes to have a cup of coffee, drivers using our new station can hit the road with their vehicles’ batteries nearly topped off.”
The charging station is located at 7825 Lichen Drive in Citrus Heights. Funding for this station comes from the sale of carbon credits.
SMUD has also offered special EV rates for home charging since 1993. Today when drivers charge with one of SMUD’s EV rates, they’ll pay around 60 cents equivalent per gallon when charging after midnight. Overall, drivers can save upwards of $1,800 per year by choosing an electric vehicle, according to the utility.