Koreatown Shopping Center Celebrates New Public EV Fast Charging

SCE’s Charge Ready pilot helps add four fast-charging stations in the H Mart Shopping Center in Garden Grove.
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Stories : The Grid
Stories : The Grid

Koreatown Shopping Center Celebrates New Public EV Fast Charging

SCE’s Charge Ready pilot helps add four fast-charging stations in the H Mart Shopping Center in Garden Grove.
Photo Credit: Maria Hedrick

One of the main concerns over making the switch to electric cars is range anxiety, or the fear of running out of juice before finding a place to recharge.

Starting this week, electric vehicle drivers in Orange County’s Koreatown will have one more reason to ride with peace of mind.

Located at Magnolia Street and Garden Grove Boulevard, the H Mart Shopping Center in Garden Grove recently celebrated the addition of four public fast-charging stations that can recharge an electric car battery in as little as a half-hour.

The charging stations were installed with help from one of Southern California Edison’s Charge Ready pilots, which pays for the necessary electrical infrastructure and then gives participants rebates to pay for part of the charging stations themselves.

EV drivers can now plug into fast chargers while they shop and eat at H Mart Shopping Center in Garden Grove thanks to SCE’s Charge Ready program.
EV drivers can now plug into fast chargers while they shop and eat at H Mart Shopping Center in Garden Grove thanks to SCE’s Charge Ready program.

For H Mart Shopping Center owner Charles Lee, SCE’s Charge Ready fast-charging pilot made the decision to add the charging stations an easy one.

“This will be convenient for our tenants and their customers who shop here, and help us all breathe cleaner air,” Lee said. “We welcome anyone who needs to charge their car to use these new fast-charging stations — and while you’re here, do your shopping or grab a bite to eat.”

Besides the H Mart Asian grocery store, the shopping center has 21 other restaurants and retail shops, such as Paris Baguette, an international premium bakery-café chain, and Kaju Soft Tofu, a Korean comfort food restaurant.

SCE launched a series of Charge Ready pilots to expand access to EV charging in its service area in 2016. The H Mart Shopping Center is one of the first sites to feature fast charging, said Katie Sloan, SCE director of eMobility and Building Electrification.

“Partnering with businesses and properties like the H Mart Shopping Center to install electric vehicle charging stations is central to SCE’s vision for a clean energy future,” Sloan said. “In order to meet California’s climate and air quality goals, we need more than 7 million electric vehicles on California roads by 2030, and we’re building the charging infrastructure all those EV drivers will need.”

Katie Sloan, SCE director of eMobility and building electrification, is joined by Garden Grove Mayor Steven R. Jones, CNT Properties President Charles Lee and Korean American Chamber of Commerce of Orange County President Ho-El Park.
Katie Sloan, SCE director of eMobility and building electrification, is joined by Garden Grove Mayor Steven R. Jones, CNT Properties President Charles Lee and Korean American Chamber of Commerce of Orange County President Ho-El Park.

Through Charge Ready, SCE has been working with cities, employers, apartment building owners, charging equipment manufacturers and others to install EV charging stations at locations where people live, shop and work.

“What sets our fast-charging pilot apart is that we focused on areas with a high concentration of apartments and condos, in order to give more options to EV owners who don’t have their own garages and may not be able to charge at home,” Sloan said.

Since 2016, SCE has installed more than 1,200 charging stations at about 70 sites throughout its service area, with plans to install about 50,000 over the next five years. Some of those stations will include charging for trucks, buses and other medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.