San Francisco Calls for Electric Car Pitches

Among its many other green ambitions (solar, small-scale wind, marine turbines), the city of San Francisco is trying to prove its a good spot for electric vehicle startups. Mayor Gavin Newsom has been on a crusade to electrify the city’s cars, but has been searching for partners to get the job done. Yesterday, the office of the mayor and department of the environment of the city of San Francisco issued a request for information from any individual or company who could help the city design and deploy an electric vehicle infrastructure.

Newsom has has spoken often on his desire to have Shai Agassi’s Project Better Place use San Francisco as its first U.S city. Last week Newsom confessed “We’re desperately seeking their [Project Better Place’s] attention,” and added that PBP is working on a feasibility study of the Bay Area. Perhaps the best way to get their attention is to start working with their competitors. This open call for information will surely illicit proposals from a variety of startups. With the Plug-In 2008 conference kicking off in San Jose this week, the Mayor’s office knows all the big players will be in the area.

The request for information is looking for ideas in smart charging, charger standardization, charger deployment and distribution, charging business models and vehicle adoption programs. Submissions are due September 19th. The city’s next step will be to review the submitted information and issue a request for proposals to put together an actionable pilot program.

The push to electrify the city’s cars is part of city’s goal to reduce greenhouse gases to 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2012. And then there’s the fact that more charging station would make it easier for Newsom to fill up his Tesla Roadster when he’s about town.