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The Towbes Group Installs Electric-Car Charging Stations at Ventura Complex

The stations at Ralston Courtyards coincide with the release of mass-produced electric vehicles in California

The Ralston Courtyards in Ventura has become one of the first residential communities in California to offer electric-vehicle charging with the installation Wednesday of six commercial charging stations at its 108-unit luxury residential development.

Santa Barbara-based real estate firm The Towbes Group, which developed the newly opened Ralston Courtyards, installed the commercial charging stations to coincide with the release of the first mass-produced electric vehicles on the market, the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf.

California is one of six states, including Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Texas and Tennessee, to begin selling the electric vehicles.

“The installation of the charging stations is in keeping with our commitment to extend our green philosophy beyond the corporate office to the commercial and residential units we own and manage throughout the Tri-Counties,” said Courtney Seeple, vice president of project management for The Towbes Group, which was recently certified by Santa Barbara County as a green business. “As one of our newest and most sustainable communities, Ralston Courtyards was the obvious choice to install the charging stations. We are finding that our tenants are generally interested in becoming more environmentally responsible and less dependent on foreign oil. By installing these recharging stations, we want to show that we, too, are environmentally conscious and that purchasing and using electric vehicles is a good idea.”

“The charging station at the Ralston Courtyards is a wonderful amenity, but more importantly it serves as a constant reminder that EVs are a viable option,” said Per Bjorge, general sales manager of Paradise Chevrolet. “We believe it will be a catalyst for other places in Ventura County, such as golf courses and shopping centers to also install them.”

According to Bjorge, the response for the Chevy Volt has been tremendous. Since December, Paradise has delivered 10 of the 14 Volts allocated to them for the model year.

While most electric cars can be charged from domestic wall sockets, the commercial charging stations installed at the Ralston Courtyards is compatible with current Smart Grid technology and allows for faster charging at higher voltages and currents.

With the cost for electricity at about 12 cents per kilowatt hour, “fuel costs” for EVs are about one-fourth that of the traditional internal combustion engine.

“And the savings will be even greater as gasoline prices continue to rise,” Seeple said.

The new Chevrolet Volt will be on display at Ralston Courtyards, 5525 Ralston St. in Ventura, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. this Thursday, March 24.

— Bruce Beck is a publicist.

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