Leading the way to an electric future, SacRT and partners unveil public-use EV charging hub
The Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) is playing a central role in what California leaders are calling a potentially “game changing” moment in the state’s fight against climate change.
SacRT and partners have transformed a portion of the Power Inn light rail station parking lot into a cutting-edge public electric-vehicle charging hub that could serve as a model for future high-speed fueling centers around the state and the country.
The Power Inn light rail station now boasts 10 of the fastest electric chargers in the country, available to both private car owners and companies with vehicle fleets, including buses, trucks and other commercial electric vehicles (EV).
The charging hub can power any type of EV and will charge vehicles 25 times faster than the typical home charging station. The site’s Level 3 DC charging stations also are notably faster than the Level 2 chargers found in the majority of public charging stations.
State and local leaders say the charging hub at 3009 Power Inn Road represents a prototype for similar fast, safe and versatile centers that will be needed for electrification of the nation’s vehicle fleet in the coming decades.
The hub, which sits near the Highway 50/Power Inn Road interchange, is open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The site has security, lighting and hi-definition cameras.
The facility, which could expand in size in the future, is a joint effort of SacRT, SMUD, and GiddyUp EV Charging Inc., which conceived the concept and will manage the site.
“We are part of the historic transition away from fossil fuels and towards cars, trucks and buses that run on clean electricity and clean technology,” said Henry Li, General Manager/ CEO of SacRT during a grand opening ceremony at the site on June 14. “This is one more example of how transit agencies, state and local governments and private partners can work together to make it easier and more efficient for people to get where they need to go.”
Li said the project at the Power Inn Station is a pilot and could be a precursor to similar electric fueling centers at other SacRT sites. SacRT has signed a revenue-sharing deal with GiddyUp for the hub. GiddyUp is paying to lease the site and for the costs for the equipment and installation.
Chris Jerome, GiddyUp EV Charging, Inc. founder and CEO, said the goal is to make electrification fast, convenient, safe, and available to “all communities, all drivers, and all vehicles.”
“If we are going to change the country, we have to show how you do it right,” Jerome said. “There is nowhere else like (this) in North America and maybe the world. If it has wheels and a battery, we can charge it.”
SMUD board President Heidi Sanborn, an electric car owner, said the new site, near major freeways, is a much-needed step toward reducing the typical “range anxiety” that electric car owners face when they drive longer distances.
California Treasurer Fiona Ma, Sacramento Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, and SacRT board member Linda Budge attended the opening ceremony, and called the center an example of how government and private industry can team up to help California meet its goal of putting 250,000 public chargers in place by 2025.
SMUD has estimated there will be nearly one million electric vehicles on the road in the Sacramento region by 2040.
“This is how it starts,” Ma said. “California is the leader. This is a game changer. We can’t wait to have more fast chargers around the state.”
SMUD General Manager and CEO Paul Lau echoed those words. “Sacramento is really the tip of the spear that is going to make this happen,” Lau said.
The charging site notably includes a large mural by local artist AJ Kute depicting progress in transportation, from the Pony Express that once rode along this corridor to modern light rail trains.
Learn more at sacrt.com/charginghub.