SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The City Council's Infrastructure Committee gave unanimous initial approval Wednesday to a plan that would install electric vehicle charging stations at 14 city facilities.
The proposal is part of San Diego Gas & Electric's "Power Your Drive" initiative, a $45 million pilot program that seeks to install 3,500 charging stations at 350 businesses, apartment complexes and condominium communities in its service territory.
Committee chair Mark Kersey, vice chair Chris Ward and members Georgette Gomez and Lorie Zapf voted unanimously to send the plan to the full City Council. If approved, the charging stations could be installed by the end of this year or the beginning of 2018.
San Diego locations were chosen following a survey of more than 700 employees last year, followed by on-site inspections and engineering reviews, according to city documents. The stations would be made available to municipal employees and fleet vehicles.
The city's vehicle fleet currently includes just 45 hybrid vehicles, but the installation of the charging stations will help it reach its goal of 50 percent electric vehicles by 2020, city staff told the committee.
The stations would be owned and maintained by SDG&E, and if a 10-year contract with the utility is approved by the full City Council, charging stations would be installed in the parking structure at the downtown Community Concourse, underground parking at Civic Center Plaza, San Diego Police Department headquarters and three other police stations, various operations yards and the Alvarado Water Treatment Plant, among others.
Initially, the charging stations would only be available to city employees, though Kersey expressed confidence they could find a quick solution to open them to non-employees as well.
An SDG&E representative stressed the benefits of daytime charging, when renewable energy is abundantly available on the grid, and in cutting pollution caused by transportation, which is about half of all air pollution.
According to the city, there are more than 20,000 electric vehicles on the road in San Diego County, a number expected to grow to 80,000 by 2020.