No E-Car Grants From Feds for Silicon Valley

Pilot program to sell all-electric Nissan Leaf cars and build thousands of speed-charging stations passes by San Francisco

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    The 5,000 all-electric, American-built Nissan Leaf's rolling out in Portland and San Diego next year don't have enough range to get to San Francisco quite yet.

    Of the $2.4 billion the Energy Department granted for electric car projects as part of the stimulus spending package, not a dollar is going to companies in California.

    As if to rub it in, San Francisco won't be part of a pilot program for the new Nissan electric car that includes subsidized electric car charging stations.

    Nissan plans to build 5,000 all-electric cars in Tennessee, and then sell them in Seattle, Portland, San Diego, Phoenix and Tucson, where Arizona-based company Ecotality will build over 12,000 stations to power the vehicles.

    That program is expected to hit the roads in 2010.

    The rest of the $2.4 billion has been divided among 25 states, with the lion's share going to Michigan and Indiana in order to bolster electric car projects from American manufacturers.

    The money went to a number of companies that make key electric car parts, like batteries and motors.

    Portland Mayor Sam Adams gloated that his city, and not San Francisco, was part of the program.

    San Francisco Mayor and gubernatorial hopeful Gavin Newsom has boasted in the past of furthering San Francisco's green goals, specifically as a center for the electric car industry -- however, his achievements haven't always live up to his public statements.

    Seems the Bay Area's electric car industry will have to rely on private capital's juice without a jolt from the federal program.

    At least Newsom will know that he can juice up his Tesla Roadster when campaigning in San Diego next year.

    Jackson West thinks bikes are the smarter way to go anyway.