Electric Bikes, Vehicles, & Infrastructure
- Electric Vehicles (EVs)
- Electric Bikes
- Local Charging Stations
- Local, State, & Federal Incentives
Types of Electric Vehicles
An electric vehicle (EV) is a car that is propelled by one or more electric motors, using energy typically stored in rechargeable batteries. Almost every car manufacturer on the market now sells electric vehicles. While the City of Arcata does not recommend one manufacturer over the other, we encourage potential consumers to do their research on individual makes and models.
Currently, there are four main types of EVs on the market.
|Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)||A battery electric vehicle operates entirely on electricity and needs to be plugged in to be recharged. They derive all power from battery packs and have no internal combustion engine or fuel tank.|
|Standard Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)||Hybrid vehicles are powered by both a gasoline engine and one or more electric motors. The electric motor is charged as the vehicle drives, so the vehicle is powered ultimately by gasoline and cannot be plugged in.|
|Plug-in Electric Hybrid Vehicle (PHEV)||A plug-in hybrid is powered by an electric motor that has enough range for a daily commute. It also has a conventional gasoline engine to extend the vehicle range. PHEVs can be plugged in to be recharged.|
|Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCEV)||A hydrogen fuel cell vehicle runs on an electric motor that is powered through a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. FCEVs must be refueled with liquid hydrogen.|
Electric bicycles, also known as e-bikes, are bicycles with an integrated motor and battery that provide extra propulsion. This added motorized power enables riders to ride longer and more frequently. E-bikes also benefit riders who may be discouraged from traditional bicycles due to convenience, age, limited physical fitness, disability, or injury.
In 2015, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill, AB 1096, into law that clarifies how e-bikes are to be regulated in California. The bill:
- Provides clear rules on how e-bikes must be equipped and operated.
- Regulates e-bikes like traditional bicycles and not like mopeds.
- Ensures e-bikes are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles.
- Designates three types of e-bikes.
Types of E-Bikes
|Type 1||E-bikes with a top assisted speed of 20mph that must be pedaled to operate.|
|Type 2||E-bikes with a top assisted speed of 20mph that can be operated without pedaling by using a handlebar-mounted throttle.|
|Type 3||E-bikes with a top assisted speed of 28mph that must be pedaled to operate.|
E-Bikes in the City of Arcata
California local governments, such as the City of Arcata, have some leeway in developing regulations and ordinances regarding e-bikes. Currently, the City of Arcata has 10 committees that provide advice and/or recommendations to the City Council. These committees may soon discuss possible regulations to implement. View our Meeting Portal for updates on upcoming public city council/committee meetings regarding e-bikes.
City of Arcata Charging Stations
Currently, there are 4 public electric vehicle charging stations in the City of Arcata.
Arcata Technology Center - 1459 8th St., Arcata, CA 95521
- Ports: 2 EV Plugs (J-1772)
- Cost: $0.48 initial fee, plus $0.18 kWh
- Hours: Open 24/7
- Phone: 1-855-900-7584
- Description: There are two Level 2 chargers at this location on Greenlots Network. Visit charge.greenlots.com to set up an account or simply pay onsite with a credit/debit card. Greenlots has also developed a free mobile app that allows you to locate chargers, check your charging status, and make payments. If you have any issues with this station, call the 24/7 driver hotline listed above.
F Street Parking Lot - 685 F St. Arcata, CA 95521
- Ports: 1 EV Plug (J-1772)
- Cost: $0.48 initial fee, plus $0.18/kWh
- Hours: Open 24/7
- Phone: 707-269-1700
- Description: The charging station is on the ChargePoint network and is located in the parking lot behind the fire station. There are two EV parking spots. Visits ChargePoint to set up an account or simply pay onsite with a credit/debit card. You can also download the ChargePoint app to locate other charging stations and make payments. Call the Redwood Coast Energy Authority (the number listed above) for any maintenance issues or if you are interested in receiving a ChargePoint membership card.
Days Inn & Suites - 4701 Valley West Blvd Arcata CA 95521
- Ports: 2 EV Plugs (J-1772)
- Cost: $2 per hour
- Hours: Open 24/7
- Phone: 707-826-2827
- Description: The charging station is on the EVconnect network and is located in the hotel parking lot. Payments must be made through the EVconnect app. The app will let drivers monitor their current charge sessions in real time and will send phone notifications as soon as their cars have finished charging.
HSU Schatz Energy Research Center - 1 Harpst St. Arcata, CA 95521
- Ports: 2 EV Plugs (J-1772)
- Cost: Free
- Hours: Open 24/7 (Parking permit required during enforcement days/hours)
- Phone: 707-826-3773
- Description: The Schatz Energy Research Center is located on the south side of campus, across from the Behavioral & Social Sciences building. To access the charging station, take the driveway between the G14 and G15 parking lots and park on the south side of the Schatz Center. One parking space is EV-only; parking here is limited to four hours, and the vehicle must be charging while parked. The second parking space is ADA parking (EV not required). HSU parking permits are required for both spaces and can be purchased from the kiosk in the G15 parking lot or at the Student & Business Services building.
Other Charging Stations in Humboldt County
Electric vehicle infrastructure is currently expanding in Humboldt County. Many cities and towns in the area have charging stations, and there are even plans to bring DC fast charging stations along HWY 101 in the near future. For a complete map showing charging stations in Humboldt County, as well as stations throughout the rest of the state and country, visit PlugShare or the U.S Department of Energy Alternative Fuels Data Center.
City of Arcata EV Parking Exemption
In order to encourage the reduction of air pollution and locally generated greenhouse gas emissions, as well as to promote the usage of zero-emission vehicles, the City Council of the City of Arcata approved Resolution No. 023-48 on March 19, 2003. This resolution grants zero-emission vehicles, specifically battery-powered vehicles and hydrogen-powered vehicles, free use of all parking meters operated by the City of Arcata.
How It Works
Simply bring your car registration and license to the Arcata Police Department where they will create an annual parking permit. The permit allows the vehicle to park at any metered space in city limits free of charge. Parking time limits still apply.
Tax Credits & Other Incentives
The cost of purchasing an electric vehicle has decreased over the past few years and will most likely continue to decrease within the next decade. However, for many consumers, the upfront cost of purchasing an electric vehicle is a major financial roadblock that keeps them out of reach. Fortunately, there are several Federal, State, and private incentives that can make the switch to electric much more affordable and appealing.
|Federal Tax Credit||The Federal Government offers a tax credit of up to $7,500 for the purchase of a new electric vehicle. Visit irs.gov for more information.|
|Clean Vehicle Assistance Program ||The Clean Vehicle Assistance Program provides grants and affordable financing to help low-income Californians purchase a new or used hybrid or electric vehicle. You can get a $2,500 grant for a hybrid vehicle or a $5,000 grant for a plug-in hybrid or electric vehicle. Grants do not need to be repaid. Visit cleanvehiclegrants.org for more information.|
|California Clean Vehicle Rebate Program (CVRP)||The CVRP promotes clean vehicle adoption in California by offering a rebate of $2,500 for the purchase or lease of new, eligible zero-emission vehicles, including electric, plug-in hybrid electric and fuel cell vehicles. Residents making under $35k are eligible for an additional $1,500. Simply fill out an online form and receive a check in the mail. Head to cleanvehiclerebate.org for more details and to compare qualifying vehicles|
|HOV Lane Access||California law allows single-occupant use of High Occupancy Vehicle (HOVs) lanes by certain qualifying clean alternative fuel vehicles. The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is responsible for accepting applications and issuing decals to qualified vehicles.|
|Insurance Discounts||Some auto insurance companies offer up to a 10% discount for those who drive alternative fuel vehicles. Contact your auto insurance company to see they offer any discounts.|
|PG&E Clean Vehicle Rebate||PG&E customers with EVs are eligible to receive a $500 rebate for their use of electricity as a clean transportation fuel. Apply online by visiting pge.com.|
EV Frequently Asked Questions
Are electric vehicles dependable?
Electric vehicles are some of the most dependable vehicles on the market. They will last as long or longer than gasoline automobiles, with less regular maintenance required. In fact, battery electric vehicles require no oil changes, tune-ups, or new spark plugs. Electric motors will also outlast the body of the vehicle. Many automakers also offer warranties on the batteries as well as safe disposal of worn-out batteries.
How far will an electric vehicle go on a single charge?
That depends on the exact make and model. A battery electric vehicle (BEV) can generally travel 80-240 miles on a single charge. A plug-in electric hybrid vehicle can generally travel 20-50 miles on a single charge but has a total extended range of 460-590 miles with its gasoline engine.
What if I need to travel farther?
Most electric cars have enough range for the daily commute. Very few drivers travel farther than 80 miles on a daily basis. For the infrequent occasions when a long-distance drive is needed, the drive can be done with a plug-in hybrid (PHEV), by access to public transportation or vehicles in car-share services, or by renting or borrowing another vehicle.
How much does it cost to charge an electric vehicle?
Much less than it costs to buy gasoline! In Humboldt County, the Redwood Coast Energy Authority's network of charging stations cost $0.48 per charging session + $0.18 per kWh. Depending on the electric vehicle, you can expect to pay anywhere from $2 - $13.
How long does it take to fully charge an electric vehicle?
The actual charging time depends on the size of your battery, how far you have driven, and the charging station you use. A Level 1 station can recharge an EV in 10+ hours, a Level 2 station can recharge an EV in 4-8 hours, and a Level 3 station can recharge an EV in as little as 20-60 minutes.
Most people charge their cars at home, work, or park at a charging station when out running errands. Plug it in when you arrive and it will be ready for you in the morning, the end of the workday, or by the time you leave.
How do you find charging stations?
There are several free public charging apps and online databases that could help you locate charging stations.
- U.S. Department of Energy Alternative Fuels Data Center (online database)
- PlugShare (online database)
- ChargePoint (free app)
- Greenlots (free app)
How much does it cost to install a home charger?
If you want to charge an EV at home, you can actually do it without installing a home charger. Most EV’s come with an adapter that allows you to plug into any 110V outlet. If you want to charge at home at a faster rate by installing a Level 2 charger, contact a professional electrician for more information.
What happens when an electric vehicle runs out of "juice"?
The same thing when a gasoline-powered vehicle runs out of gas, you'll need a tow or a push. In some areas, roadside mobile charging assistance is available.
Are electric vehicles actually environmentally friendly?
Yes! Electric vehicles emit little to no greenhouse gasses. They do however need to be recharged and thus must draw electricity from somewhere else. If that electricity comes from renewable energy than the vehicle is no longer a part of the pollution cycle.