electricity.jpgThe Metropolitan Transportation Commission today announced $14 million in grants for electric vehicle projects in San Jose and across the Bay Area.

The announcement was made by representatives from the Bay Area Climate Collaborative at a news conference this afternoon at San Jose City Hall, which was attended by Mayor Chuck Reed and representatives from the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

About $7 million will go toward an electric vehicle taxi corridor program that will provide 61 switchable-battery electric vehicle taxis and install four battery switch stations in San Francisco and San Jose. The project will be $20 million with matching funds.

“We’re going to do our part to help this industry grow,” Reed said. “San Jose has an important role to play as the innovation center of the world.”

The three other grants are $2.8 million for a local government electric vehicle fleet project, which will include the purchase of 90 electric vehicles and 90 public charging stations; $2.4 million to the Bay Area electric vehicle readiness program; and $1.7 to a car sharing electrified project to purchase 29 electric vehicles and install 24 chargers at 12 to 15 locations and up to three charging stations.

Rafael Reyes, director of the Bay Area Climate Collaborative, said the projects would help create local jobs, reduce reliance on foreign oil, and safeguard resources from climate impacts.

The $14 million grant is part of a $33 million total grant pool the commission is allocating for clean transportation initiatives including electric taxis, car-share programs, and infrastructure for electric vehicles.

Launched by Reed, along with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums, the Bay Area Climate Collaborative is an initiative aimed at accelerating clean energy developments in the region.

Khalida Sarwari, Bay City News

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