You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Rebate plan unveiled to push more charging stations for electric cars in San Diego County

San Diego Union Tribune logo San Diego Union Tribune 10/27/2020 Rob Nikolewski
a car parked in a parking lot: Two Tesla EVs charge in a public garage. A California rebate program will make $21.7 million available for a rebate program to install charging stations throughout San Diego County. (LiPo Ching / TNS) © Provided by San Diego Union Tribune Two Tesla EVs charge in a public garage. A California rebate program will make $21.7 million available for a rebate program to install charging stations throughout San Diego County. (LiPo Ching / TNS)

If California is going to hit the ambitious transportation targets set by former Gov. Jerry Brown and current Gov. Gavin Newsom, the Golden State will need a lot more charging stations for all those electric vehicles.


And a new $21.7 million rebate program, aimed at boosting the number of stations in San Diego County, rolled out on Tuesday.

Part of the California Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project, the rebate program offers businesses and other entities a big discount to install charging stations at workplaces, multi-unit dwellings and other properties. Extra monies have been earmarked for sites in disadvantaged and low-income communities and multifamily housing.

"It's important for San Diego's transition to electric transportation to have infrastructure throughout all of our communities — it won't work without it," said Andy Hoskinson, senior manager at the Center for Sustainable Energy, a local nonprofit that worked with the California Energy Commission to launch the program.

The energy commission is funding $15.8 million of the project, with money collected through vehicle and vessel registrations, license plates and smog abatement fees — from legislation passed and signed into law in Sacramento.

The remaining $5.9 million comes from the San Diego Association of Governments ($4.5 million from SANDAG's TransNet program, funded by a half-cent sales tax) and the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District ($1.4 million from DMV fees).

Under the rebate program, applicants can receive up to $6,000 for a commercial-grade Level 2 charger and as much as $80,000 for a high-powered DC fast charger.

At least 25 percent of the rebate program's money is earmarked to go to disadvantaged or low-income areas in the county.

"The light-duty (vehicle) sector is what we're focused on," said Hoskinson. "It's a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. To fight climate change, it is something we have to tackle."

According to the California Air Resources Board, 41 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the state in 2017 came from the transportation sector.

Last month, Newsom signed an executive order banning all new sales of gasoline-powered cars and passenger trucks in California by 2035.

Two years ago, Brown called for California to put 5 million zero-emission vehicles on state roads by 2030 and set a target of installing 250,000 vehicle charging stations by 2025.

As of September, there were 726,145 vehicles that met the state's definition of zero-emissions — about 14.5 percent of the 5 million target, with 10 years to go.

There are 62,037 charging stations — some 24.8 percent of the 250,000 goal, with five years to go. The charging station figure does not count stations in private homes across the state.

As for San Diego County, there are roughly 6,000 charging stations in use. About 4,000 are located at places like offices, apartment complexes and condominiums. The other 2,000 are located in areas fully open to the public, such as shopping centers, garages and parks.

Based on modeling, Hoskinson said San Diego County in the next five years needs about 625 new DC fast-charging stations and about 2,500 more Level 2 stations in public locations or workplaces and multiunit dwellings.

"We're really just starting to scratch the surface with the need for infrastructure, based on 2025 projections," Hoskinson said. "It's going to be significantly increased to reach the 2030 goal (of 5 million zero-emission vehicles in California) and then to support the 100 percent sales of zero-emission vehicles in 2035" set by Newsom.

Level 2 stations deliver 15 to 35 miles of driving range per hour of charging and work well for drivers whose cars are parked for hours at a time , such as workplaces — at least before the pandemic resulted in millions working from home.

DC fast chargers can power most electric vehicles more than 100 miles of range per hour of charging and are well-suited to be located along travel corridors.

The rebates of up to $6,000 for Level 2 chargers can cover anywhere from 50 percent to nearly all of the costs of the station, depending on how easy it is to install and connect the infrastructure.

The amount of the rebate on the DC fast chargers vary according to the voltage, with Hoskinson estimating that a top-of-the-line station would see a cost reduction of about 50 percent.

Those interested in applying for the San Diego County rebate program can go to the website of the California Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project, called CALeVIP for short:

Since December 2017, CALeVIP has issued more than $13 million for EV charging installations throughout California.

This story originally appeared in San Diego Union-Tribune.


More From San Diego Union Tribune

San Diego Union Tribune
San Diego Union Tribune

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon