Orton Development Accelerates Future of Transit with EV Charging at Ford Point

The Business of Charging |

Historic Building, Modern Charging

The historic Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant building in Richmond, California, has a distinctive silhouette and a rich past. It’s come a long way since building tens of thousands of vehicles for first Ford and then the military decades ago. Today, it’s home to Ford Point, which includes an event venue, Rosie the Riveter National Historic Park and an assortment of tenants ranging from Mountain Hardware to SunPower, all of which are served by ChargePoint EV charging stations.

Ford Point is building on its automotive manufacturing history while catering to the next era in mobility by offering EV charging to tenants and visitors. After a long restoration period that included fixing an astonishing 40,000 broken windows, Ford Point now has solar panels delivering half the building’s power and 10 EV charging stations (eight Level 2 stations and two DC fast stations) available for tenants and visitors to use. In just their first month in operation, Ford Point EV charging stations saved enough greenhouse gas emissions to measure up to planting more than 90 trees—an impressive amount that starts to make up for its gas-powered past.

In just their first month in operation, Ford Point EV charging stations saved enough greenhouse gas emissions to measure up to planting more than 90 trees.

"We're trying to return to a cityscape that's people-oriented rather than car-oriented," owner Eddie Orton told the New York Times of the Ford Point restoration. In that spirit, EV charging at Ford Point caters not to cars, but to their drivers, giving them a pleasant place to spend time while they conveniently fill up, instead of having to make a separate trip to an unappealing gas station.

The EV charging project at Ford Point started as a way to expand on the EV charging stations that tenant SunPower had in place. Demand for EV charging was high among environmentally conscious tenants—one tenant was actually running an extension cord out of the window to charge a BMW i3—so Orton decided to move the existing stations, add more charging stations in a central place and install the capacity to add more charging spots in the future.

ChargePoint helped connect Orton with a Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) grant to fund the new stations. Because they’re near many businesses, a visitor center and an event venue, they get used often. Once the stations were installed, Orton sent out a brief email to tenants to let them know, and use of the stations started growing fast. Anyone can find the Ford Point stations in the ChargePoint mobile app, and they’re used by all kinds of EVs, from BMWs to smart fortwos and even Chevy Bolt EVs on road trips.

Chevy Bolt EV Fast Charging at Ford Point
Image from TFL

Orton achieved its goal of having EV charging be cost effective or free for tenants, and the stations are already very popular, with Teslas, e-Golfs and LEAFs all charging in a row. Just as Rosie the Riveters built military power years ago, today’s workers are building the future of transit by driving electric vehicles. And Ford Point is ready to serve them.

Find out how other customers are embracing the EV revolution on our customer stories page.

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