CalTrans District 9 DCFC Stations Underway on East Side

By Paul Gipe

CalTrans’ District 9 has confirmed that construction on the first of four DC Fast Charge station locations has begun. District 9 serves the East Side of California’s Sierra Nevada, including Hwy 395 and Hwy 58 in Mono, Inyo, and the eastern part of Kern County.

Construction began 6 January 2020 at the Boron rest stop on Hwy 58. Construction has yet to begin at CalTrans’ Division Creek and Coso Junction rest areas on Hwy 395, nor has construction begun on the station at CalTrans’ District 9 office in Bishop, California.

CalTrans’ Coso Junction rest area is near the Electrify America station. Two stations with a total of five charging kiosks will provide redundancy at an important waypoint on the route to Mammoth Lakes ski area and Yosemite National Park from Southern California.

Completion is expected by June 2020. The DCFC dispensers have been ordered and the local utility company has been notified.

Unlike the recently installed stations at the Camp Roberts rest area on Hwy 101 in the Salinas Valley, CalTrans’ District 9 kiosks will be supplied with three-phase power. The Camp Roberts’ stations rely on solar PV, batteries, and a single-phase supply. They are often unavailable for a lack of power.

Ten years after the introduction of the Nissan Leaf, a state-wide, non-Tesla DC fast charging network is nearing fruition. There remain regions of California that are not served or are only lightly served by DC fast charging stations for non-Tesla vehicles. The East Side of the Sierra Nevada is one of those.

EA’s Bishop station is now online. However, neither EA station at Coso Junction nor Mojave are operational. They have stood idle for more than six months since installation.

Construction has yet to fully begin on ChargePoint’s stations in Tehachapi, Mojave, and Brady (Inyokern). There’s been no word on EV Connect’s state-contracted stations in Mojave or Inyokern.

The long wait for stations on the East Side will continue into the summer months.