Powertree and Panasonic Bringing EV Charging to SF Apartment Buildings

Scores of electric vehicle charging stations are coming to multifamily properties in San Francisco in coming months, thanks to an initiative teaming Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company and San Francisco-based Powertree Services Inc.
Image credit: Powertree Services

Image credit: Powertree Services

By Jeffrey Steele, Contributing Writer

San Francisco—Scores of electric vehicle charging stations are coming to multifamily properties in San Francisco in coming months, thanks to an initiative teaming Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company and San Francisco-based Powertree Services Inc.

Panasonic is providing engineering, construction and procurement services to Powertree to build 68 electric vehicle charging stations at apartment communities in the Golden Gate City. Designed to be powered by solar energy and incorporate a battery-storage compartment, the stations link together key energy services to provide value for property owners, apartment residents, electric vehicle owners and the grid. The stations are now under construction and are slated for completion by Earth Day, 2015.

Upon completion, the stations will result in a total installed capacity of 6.1 megawatts of power and 2.5 megawatts of EV charging capacity. Each station is configured to support up to 70 amps or 18 kilowatts, approximately equal to 60 to 70 miles of range for every hour of charging. Precise charging rates will vary with vehicle models.

Powered by on-site photovoltaic panels, the stations will be capable of supplying high power charging to vehicles, ancillary services provided to the utility to support the grid, solar power to residents and supplemental power to the buildings.

“Owners of multi-tenant apartment and mixed-use buildings face a rising demand from tenants, drivers and new regulations that combine to require them to install, manage [and] upgrade electric-charging facilities and support electric vehicles,” says Stacey Reineccius, founder and CEO of Powertree.

“With Powertree Services, owners can turn this potentially burdensome situation into new value and offer attractive new amenities for their tenants even in medium to small urban properties, with no capital outlay by the property owner.”

Adds Jamie Evans, eco solutions managing director for Panasonic Enterprise Solutions: “Panasonic is committed to driving new technologies and collaborating with entrepreneurs to help bring about renewable energy options and a sustainable future. Our work now will pay off in terms of future economic and other benefits for building owners, and a reduction in greenhouse gases.”

This week, Evans and Reineccius discussed the challenges to going green at the Solar Power International 2014 Convention, held at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Among topics addressed by the pair were upfront cost, complex financial structures and the need to identify and team with strong, dependable partners at every phase of solar development. The discussion was held as part of a case study-style panel titled “Simplifying Sustainability: Eliminating the Barriers to Solar Success.”