South San Francisco, CA August 13, 2019 Submitted by Kirsten Andrews-Schwind, Peninsula Clean Energy
Peninsula Clean Energy, the California Energy Commission, and Center for Sustainable Energy are partnering to launch an incentive project in San Mateo County in 2020 to increase publicly available electric vehicle charging locations with investments potentially reaching $24 million. Using $12 million from PCE and an additional $12 million proposed by the California Energy Commission (CEC), thousands of charging stations will be installed in San Mateo County over the next four years.
The project is an initiative of the Energy Commission’s California Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project (CALeVIP), which works with local community partners to develop and implement regional incentive projects for charging infrastructure that supports the adoption of EVs statewide.
“Expanding EV charging stations in our communities is the logical next step in our efforts to make driving an electric vehicle accessible and affordable,” said CEO Jan Pepper of Peninsula Clean Energy (PCE), the not-for-profit community choice electricity agency serving approximately 290,000 accounts in San Mateo County.
“We are pleased that the Energy Commission is so supportive of PCE’s suite of EV programs,” Pepper said. “PCE already has incentives for purchase or lease of new electric vehicles, and a program to help low-income residents who want to buy a used EV. Now we’re making sure that all drivers will be able to easily charge their cars at work, at home, or at various public locations.” PCE is also providing public EV marketing campaigns, test drive events, an additional $2 million for outreach and technical assistance to help property owners prepare to install EV chargers, and technical support for school districts switching to electric school buses.
“The Energy Commission is excited to partner with Peninsula Clean Energy to increase access to convenient charging for electric vehicles in San Mateo County,” said Commissioner Patty Monahan of the Energy Commission. “By expanding the state’s charging network, CALeVIP projects like this one help the state transition to zero-emission transportation, improve air quality and reach the state’s climate goals.”
CALeVIP and its regional projects are implemented by the Center for Sustainable Energy and funded primarily by the California Energy Commission’s Clean Transportation Program (also known as the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program).
Peninsula Clean Energy estimates that driving an EV saves over $1,200 a year in maintenance and fuel costs compared to a gas-powered car. San Mateo County has an estimated 19,000 plug-in electric vehicles on the road.
“Peninsula Clean Energy is moving to the forefront of the state’s electric vehicle infrastructure efforts with this significant investment,” said Andy Hoskinson, Senior Manager for EV Initiatives with the Center for Sustainable Energy. “Local EV sales should increase as residents realize they can find convenient charging stations in San Mateo County.”
“The lack of charging stations is one of the main reasons consumers are reluctant to make the switch to electric vehicles. We can’t move the needle on EV adoption unless we aggressively expand our charging infrastructure. This state and local funding partnership would not only support the current demand in the South Bay and Peninsula, but also help meet the needs of future EV drivers,” said Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), whose district includes northern San Mateo County.
The CEC is also proposing an additional $18 million for partnerships with Silicon Valley Clean Energy, San Jose Clean Energy, City of Palo Alto Utilities and Silicon Valley Power. Total CEC investments in the regional CALeVIP collaboration between San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties are proposed at $30 million.