MARIN -- Eight cities in Marin County participating in Marin Clean Energy are going to receive free electric charging stations from Coulomb Technologies as a part of Coulomb's $37 million ChargePoint America program. The announcement was made jointly today by Sustainable San Rafael, which initiated the request; San Rafael Community Development director Bob Brown; and Coulomb Technologies.

The ChargePoint stations have universal hookups that can be used by most plug-in electric vehicles. The first two charging stations are slated to be installed in the public parking garage between B and C streets in downtown San Rafael.

San Rafael Mayor Al Boro and other officials will unveil the initial charging stations, and the first electric vehicle will be charged up at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9 at the San Rafael City Plaza on Fourth Street as part of a Green Means Business Climate Work Party that starts at the plaza at 1 pm.

“It was serendipity. We were hoping to get a ChargePoint charging station to display at Saturday’s Climate Work Party,” said Sustainable San Rafael board member and GoSolarMarin founder Lisa Max. “But because of the ChargePoint America program, Coulomb executives told us we could have the stations at no cost. It is a wonderful opportunity for our city and, as it turns out, for Marin County.”

Coulomb is offering the free charging stations to other Marin cities as well. At its meeting this Thursday, the Marin Energy Authority will consider covering the installation costs of the donated charging stations for member cities as part of its efforts to combat climate change by reducing carbon emissions. In addition to San Rafael, MEA members include Mill Valley, Fairfax, Sausalito, San Anselmo, Tiburon, Belvedere and the county of Marin.

The new stations will help form a proposed network of electric vehicle charging stations around the Bay Area. The Transportation Authority of Marin is pursuing plans and funding strategies for an early installation of seventeen of the units throughout the county. The San Rafael units also represent a milestone in implementing the City’s Climate Change Action Plan, which calls for charging station installation.

Coulomb’s ChargePoint America program will provide 4,600 charging stations in nine regions in the United States: Austin, Texas; Detroit; Los Angeles; New York; Orlando; Sacramento; the San Jose/San Francisco Bay Area; Bellevue/Redmond, Wash.; and Washington, D.C. The program is a strategic partnership between Coulomb and auto makers Ford, General Motors and smart USA. Coulomb currently has the largest established base of networked charging stations worldwide with more than 850 units shipped to more than 200 customers. Installation of the ChargePoint charging stations is underway now in all nine regions.