Electric vehicles charging
Electric vehicles being charged. Photo courtesy SDG&E

San Diego Gas & Electric announced the installation of 88 electric vehicle chargers throughout the county Tuesday at park and ride lots, as part of a collaborative program to increase electric transportation infrastructure in the region.

The utility installed 20 240-volt chargers and two direct current 480- volt chargers each at park and ride locations in Chula Vista, National City, El Cajon and Oceanside in an initiative called Electrify Local Highways.

“SDG&E is ready to power your drive with new EV charging options open to the public,” said Estela de Llanos, the utility’s vice president of clean transportation sustainability and chief environmental officer. “Working collaboratively with our local transportation agency partners, SDG&E is excited to take another step toward accelerating the clean transportation movement to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality in our region.”

SDG&E has ongoing collaborations with the California Department of Transportation, Metropolitan Transit System and the San Diego Association of Governments to expand the charging network to support zero-emission transportation.

“A cleaner, greener future is dependent on reducing the number of fossil fuel-dependent vehicles on our roads. This includes cars and public transit vehicles,” said Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, who chairs the MTS board and also serves on the California Air Resources Board. “MTS is already on a path toward transitioning its fleet of 800 buses to zero-emissions. This infrastructure is an important step in giving San Diego residents the flexibility to even further reduce their carbon footprint while choosing transit.”

Electrify Local Highways, funded through Senate Bill 350, has a stated goal of widespread transportation electrification to meet the state’s goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. The state’s transportation sector accounts for more than 40% of all greenhouse gases, according the state air resources board.

Under the Power Your Drive program, SDG&E installed around 3,000 chargers at apartments, condo complexes and workplaces. Last year, SDG&E was approved to build charging infrastructure for a minimum of 3,000 plug-in medium- duty and heavy-duty electric vehicles and equipment, including transit buses, school buses, delivery trucks, and forklifts.

“These new Park and Ride chargers are vital to the expanded adoption of electric vehicles,” SANDAG Chair and Poway Mayor Steve Vaus said. “SANDAG is developing strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the 2021 Regional Plan and has committed $30 million over 30 years through a rebate program to increase the number of publicly accessible chargers in the region.”

More than 52,000 people drive electric vehicles in the San Diego region. To meet a state goal of having five million of the vehicles on the road, the San Diego region’s proportion would be 500,000.

–City News Service

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