The City of Mill Valley, Calif., has purchased four electric Mitsubishi i-MiEV vehicles and recently completed the construction of a $28,000 project to install a new publicly accessible EV charging station.

The City has leased the four new i-MiEVs for a three-year period through an arrangement with three companies, including Active International, Mitsubishi Motors of North America, and Mike Albert Fleet Solutions. According to the City’s arrangement, the vehicles are payment for services that Mitsubishi received from Active, and Active is donating the lease of the vehicles to Mill Valley. Active will cover the first year of the lease, and a California Clean Vehicle Rebate for no-emissions vehicles will cover 75 percent of the second year of the lease. The City will pay for the lease during the third year as well as for registering the vehicles.

Mill Valley plans to use the i-MiEVs for the employee motor pool and general use by City employees. The City stated that using these vehicles will help the municipality meet its greenhouse gas emissions targets.

The charging station at Hauke Park in Mill Valley, Calif. Photo courtesy City of Mill Valley.

The charging station at Hauke Park in Mill Valley, Calif. Photo courtesy City of Mill Valley.

For the charging station project, Mill Valley City staff chose the location for the charging station, at Hauke Park, due to its proximity to a solar array on the City’s Public Safety Department building and due to the park’s proximity to Highway 101. The City doesn’t plan to charge for use of the station during its pilot program.

The station has two output levels, Level I (110 volts) and Level II (240 volts). Parking nearby the station will not be restricted to EVs only and there will be no time limit on the parking stall that the charging station is located at. The City used a grant for $26,757 from the Transportation Authority of Marin, California Energy Commission, Association of Bay Area Governments, and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. The City purchased the charger for $4,362 (at reduced cost, according to the City’s statement). The City used the remaining funds for improvements in and around the park’s parking lot.

The station will cost an estimated $400 per year to operate, which the City stated will be accommodated by the nearby solar array. Going forward, the City plans to pay an annual subscription fee of $230 to the Chargepoint charging station network. This subscription will provide network connectivity, driver and host services, and billing services, should the City decide to charge for use of the station. The City plans to use its parking fund budget to pay for the subscription.

City staff estimates the station will incur energy costs of approximately $400 per year, which will be accommodated through the excess energy produced by the Public Safety Building Solar Array. After the program’s first year, the City will pay an annual subscription fee of $230 to the Chargepoint Network to participate in its program. This subscription provides the network connectivity, driver and host services and billing ability should the City choose to start charging for use. This subscription cost will be funded from the City Budget’s Parking Fund.

This project is part of the City’s “Core Values,” which the municipality stated are to preserve health, safety, and the community’s high quality of life. Mill Valley’s city council approved a budget adjustment in April, 2012, to purchase the charging station.