Implementing a Roadmap to Clean Transportation
In its first year of Electric Vehicle (EV) Roadmap implementation, the County took steps to accelerate transportation electrification across the region with policy changes, EV infrastructure improvements, public outreach, and regional collaboration. This progress is first of many actions the County will take over the next decade to facilitate the adoption of clean transportation in the region.
The EV Roadmap, approved in October 2019, is a plan that leverages the County’s land use authority, permitting processes, and outreach platforms to increase EV ownership and charging installations in the unincorporated county. Implementation of the EV Roadmap supports the County’s 2018 Climate Action Plan (2018 CAP) greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets and puts the County on a path to meet State vehicle and charging infrastructure goals in the next decade.
The plan, which received a 2020 Achievement Award in the category of County Resiliency: Infrastructure, Energy & Sustainability from the National Association of Counties, exemplifies the County’s commitment to sustainability highlighted in its 2020-2025 Strategic Plan, in which the Sustainability Environments/Thriving initiative identifies enhancing the quality of the environment through sustainability, pollution prevention, and strategic planning as County priorities.
Highlights of the County’s progress to electrify the roadway network in Year one of EV Roadmap implementation are below.
Reducing the County’s fleet of gas-powered vehicles
Goal 1 establishes a commitment to convert 501 of the County’s fleet vehicles to electric by 2027.
In October 2019, the Board of Supervisors amended three Board policies (H-1, H-2, and F-22) to allow for easier conversion of fleet vehicles during scheduled vehicle replacement and to allow the County to negotiate the opportunity to install charging infrastructure in non-County owned facilities. In addition, 28 EVs were ordered by County Departments, bringing the total EVs in the County Fleet to 78 vehicles. These County EVs utilize 84 charging stations available for County Fleet-only use located across eight County facilities.
Contributing to the regional EV charging network
Goal 2 contributes to the regional EV charging network by installing 2,040 Level II charging stations throughout the unincorporated area that will be available for public use by 2028.
In October 2019, the Board amended one Board policy (G-15) to require all new County facilities to include charging infrastructure for public use. In addition, two charging stations were installed at the Santa Ysabel Nature Center, bringing the total number of public charging stations to 39 at County facilities. These charging stations are in addition to the 84 County Fleet-only charging stations.
Increasing County employee EV ownership
Goal 3 aims to promote and incentivize County employee EV ownership and use to reduce employee commute emissions.
A County cross-departmental working group developed a reporting system to track the number of miles that employees drive to and from their work location with the number of days that employees telework. This system will help the County determine potential ways to incentivize employees to use alternative transportation to work and to promote solutions such as EV ownership.
Increasing EV charging infrastructure in new and existing development
Goal 4 incentivizes and/or requires EV charging installations in multi-family and commercial properties through several potential options, including implementing shared parking facilities and Building Code amendments to require new construction and incentivize retrofits to install EV charging infrastructure.
In 2019, the County was one of the first jurisdictions in the region recognized by the State as having a streamlined EV charger permitting process. In addition, an evaluation of a Parking Incentive Program is currently underway as part of the 2018 CAP Transportation Demand Management (Measure T-2.2) and Shared Parking (Measure T-2.4) work program.
Providing education and outreach of EV technology
Goal 5 guides the development of an educational EV Consumer Advocate website to help consumers find an EV that fits their needs.
The EV Consumer Advocate website is in development and expected to launch in Spring 2021. The website will provide residents and businesses highlights of the benefits of EV ownership, a fuel cost comparison calculator, a search engine of available EV models, charger installation procedures, and available incentives.
Supporting public and private fleet electrification
Goal 6 supports the electrification of light-, medium-, and heavy-duty fleets within the region through collaboration with State and local agencies, private businesses, and other regional partners.
The County collaborates with the San Diego Association of Governments, San Diego Gas & Electric, the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District, and the City of San Diego on a regional working group, the Accelerate to Zero Emissions Partnership, to address regional barriers to EV adoption, attract outside investment, and coordinate charging infrastructure development.
Continuing the Momentum Forward
Guided by the EV Roadmap, the County will continue accelerating transportation electrification across the region. In 2021, County staff will begin public outreach and educational programming with unincorporated county residents and businesses on the EV Roadmap’s programs, opportunities, and related efforts to encourage the adoption of EVs. Efforts will place emphasis on reaching under-resourced communities to ensure equitable access to EV technology, education, and programs.
Stay tuned for the launch of an EV Roadmap website where visitors can access implementation status updates and resources to learn more about the County’s efforts related to clean technology.