October 22, 2014

Revving up car charging stations at our facilities

Electric car charging stations encourage clean commuting and expand the safety net for a growing number of electric vehicle drivers.

Taking additional steps to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, Kaiser Permanente is adding electric vehicle charging stations to its medical centers and other locations nationwide.

Three charging stations opened at the Kaiser Permanente Vacaville Medical Center last week, and another five California locations are expected to install stations over the next six months: the San Francisco, Roseville and San Rafael medical centers, the Garfield Specialty Center in San Diego, and the Kaiser Permanente administrative offices in Pasadena. Within two years, another 50 locations across the country are scheduled to host at least three stations.

A blue car parked at a blue charging station at Vacaville Medical Center A car charging up at the eVgo station.

“Hosting charging stations is a natural fit for our medical centers, where thousands of people come daily to work and to access the care and services they need to manage their health,” said Ramé Hemstreet, vice president of facilities operations and Kaiser Permanente’s chief energy officer. “By promoting sustainable transportation and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, Kaiser Permanente is taking concrete steps toward reducing air pollution and conditions that can harm health.”

Electric vehicles dramatically reduce smog and greenhouse gas emissions. Passenger vehicles release roughly 1.5 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions into the environment each year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, contributing to global climate change. Driving an electric vehicle can reduce the greenhouse emissions associated with its travel by as much as 70 percent in some locations, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s GHG emissions calculator at www.fueleconomy.gov.

A close-up view of the blue charger eVgo charging station

Kaiser Permanente is partnering with NRG eVgo, which will operate and maintain the stations. Visitors and staff can use a credit card or subscribe to one of NRG eVgo’s monthly plans to pay for use of a charging station.

Kimberly Yang, MD, a physician at Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center, drives a Chevy Volt.

“I’ve cut back on fuel by over half, even taking into account the cost of electricity,” she said of her electric plug-in hybrid car. “I liked the idea of reducing my carbon footprint.”

She also likes that Kaiser Permanente is supporting the use of electrical vehicles by hosting charging stations at its medical centers and administrative offices.

“I think one of the things holding people back from getting electric cars is the limited availability of charging stations,” Dr. Yang said.

For more information about electric vehicles and EV charging, visit the NRG eVgo website at http://www.nrgevgo.com/.