SAN DIEGO — More than $7 billion in federal funding has been allocated to build electric vehicle charging stations nationwide over the next five years.
Clean energy advocates hope that this will help bring California closer to its goal of selling only zero-emission new vehicles by 2035.
A crucial part of this funding is to make owning, and charging, an electric vehicle possible for all San Diegans no matter which community they live in, or whether they own or rent their home.
"This bill was historic it and it will be transformational," said Congressman Scott Peters (D-52nd Congressional District).
The federal dollars approved through President Biden's trillion-dollar infrastructure bill are now on the cusp of making a local impact on everything from our communities' roads and bridges to our push for a clean-energy future.
"Residents of San Diego County should be assured that all levels of government are working together to really make progress on climate change," said San Diego city council member Marni von Wilpert (District 5).
Toward that end, the state is receiving $384 million to install a comprehensive network of electric vehicle charging stations.
"The bottom line is that when it comes to EV adoption in the state, the limiting factor to some extent right now is infrastructure," said Cory Bullis of the EV Charging Association. "EV drivers want confidence that there is enough infrastructure available to meet their needs."
This is especially true for under-served communities, making the need to locate many of these new charging stations in working-class communities even more pressing, according to San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria.
"It shouldn't matter where you live in the city of San Diego, whether you're in Encanto or San Ysidro, Linda Vista or here in Point Loma, you should have easy access to EV charging," Gloria said.
Additional funding to help electrify San Diego's fleet of government vehicles, from police cars to fire trucks to deputy cruisers, is also available.
"There is money in this federal investment for these fleets," added Peters. "But we are going to have to apply for it."
As these federal dollars will help grow San Diego's network of EV charging stations, a separate program approved by the county, called Clean Cars 4 All, provides up to $9,500 to residents living in lower-income communities with high levels of pollution to retire their gas vehicles and replace them with an electric one.
"The cost to fuel it is less, the cost to maintain it is less, and so if we can help bridge that gap over the entry point, then it can help a lot of folks who want to adopt it," said Nathan Fletcher, chair of the San Diego Board of Supervisors.
For more information on Clean Cars 4 All, click here.
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