Monday, October 2, 2023

California Offers Discounts for Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in Disadvantaged Areas

California is giving discounts to organizations in economically disadvantaged areas of San Diego County that plan to build public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. This initiative aims to address the lack of charging infrastructure and the high costs associated with the adoption of electric vehicles in low-income communities.

The rebate program, administered by the Center for Sustainable Energy, is part of the California Electric Vehicle Infrastructure project (CALeVIP). With $38 million set aside for discounts, businesses, nonprofits, tribes and public entities in 28 California counties, including San Diego County, are eligible to apply.

Discounts cover up to 50% of project costs or a maximum of $100,000, depending on installed load capacity. The focus is on direct current infrastructure with fast charging capabilities as it ensures smooth charging for electric vehicle owners.

California’s ambitious goal is to have 5 million zero-emission vehicles on its roads by 2030. To support this transition, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order banning the sale of new gasoline powered by passenger cars by 2035. Along with this, the California Air Resources Board also requires that at least 35% of cars and trucks sold in the state by the 2026 model year be zero-emission, increasing to 100 % in 2035.

Funding for CALeVIP comes from the California Energy Commission’s Clean Transportation Program, which will invest $1.4 billion through 2024 to accelerate development of the state’s zero-emission vehicle infrastructure.

Although it is said that electric vehicles are still expensive for low-income communities, the promoters of the program highlight the growing adoption of EVs in California. In the second quarter of this year, zero-emission vehicles accounted for 25.4% of light vehicle sales in the state.

The state aims to have 250,000 publicly available electric car charging stations by 2025, up from the current 92,000. Interested organizations can find application details and guidelines for identifying low-income and poor communities on the CALeVIP website.

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