Around Town | May 9, 2014 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - May 9, 2014

Around Town

LEADING THE CHARGE ... Palo Alto's vocal legion of electric-vehicle advocates scored a victory last year, when the city adopted a new rule requiring all new single-family homes to include circuitry that accommodates vehicle-charging stations. Next week, a City Council committee will consider extending the requirement to new multi-family complexes and nonresidential developments. In the interim, it's celebration time. On Monday, members of a citizen task force that helped draft the new ordinance received kudos, and a special proclamation, from the council for its contributions. Peter Pirnejad, the city's development services director, lauded the fact that Palo Alto has one of the highest per-capita rates of electric-vehicle drivers in the state (and, thus, in the nation). Yet both city officials and residents Monday, clearly enjoying road-related puns, said that more needs to be done. "We need to pave the way for electric vehicles and remove barriers if we are to be leaders in the promotion of electric vehicles," Pirnejad said. "We are the icebreakers," said Sven Thesen, a resident who has installed a charging station in front of his Evergreen Park home, of the city. "We are the ones leading this, and it's critical that we ... electrify our transportation system as quickly as possible." Councilman Greg Scharff, who owns a Tesla and whose office is located in Evergreen Park, thanked Thesen for the charging station, which Scharff said he had recently used. Though Thesen doesn't charge drivers for using his curb-side station, he noted in response to Scharff that some choose to drop off gifts. "Tesla owners have been known to drop off bottles of wine," Thesen said. "Leafs drop off beer. Generally cheap beer, too."

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