Electric cars for hire, shuttle to Davis part of $44-million plan for Sacramento
June 13, 2018-- The electric-vehicle initiative funded by Volkswagen announced details of how it will spend $44 million to advance electric vehicle technology in Sacramento. The plan includes hundreds of new electric vehicles available for short-term rental throughout the city, along with an electric shuttle from UC Davis's main campus to the university's Health Campus in Sacramento.
Electrify America, the VW subsidiary in charge of the effort, also intends to fund a new on-demand shuttle service in Sacramento's Franklin Boulevard corridor. In addition, it will install 10 ultra-fast charging stations throughout the city that will be available for public use.
The first electric vehicle car-sharing service is expected to arrive as soon as this summer. Run by Envoy Technologies, it will eventually include 142 vehicles stationed at 71 apartment communities, most of them in low-income neighborhoods. Residents will be able to rent the cars for personal errands or even to participate in the gig economy.
Another car sharing service, GIG, plans to arrive in Sacramento in early 2019. It will include 260 electric vehicles that can be picked up and dropped off anywhere within a 13-square-mile "home zone." Customers can download an app and use it to reserve a car up to 30 minutes in advance. The cars will feature roof racks so customers can combine biking and driving on different legs of their trip. GIG is part of the venture arm of AAA Northern California, Nevada and Utah.
A second component of Electrify America's plan is for electric shuttles. The firm will add 12 new electric buses to bolster traditional bus service between UC Davis and its Health Campus in Sacramento. The shuttles will also stop in West Sacramento and eventually at Aggie Square, the planned innovation campus planned for land owned by UC Davis in Sacramento. The new shuttles could start as soon as June 2019. Buses will be run jointly by Sacramento Regional Transit and the Yolo County Transportation District.
Electrify America also plans to fund an on-demand, micro-shuttle serving the Franklin Boulevard corridor, which runs through south Sacramento. The corridor has lacked bus service since 2008. Run by SacRT, the service is expected to begin in summer 2018.
Electrify America was created by Volkswagen as part of its recompense after air quality regulators in California helped uncover that the company had included software in diesel vehicles that allowed them to cheat on emissions tests. Sacramento was designated as the program's first "Green City."