Board of Supes to consider increasing county’s electric vehicle usage

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SAN DIEGO – The San Diego County Board of Supervisors will discuss a proposal Wednesday to increase the availability and use of electric vehicles throughout the county.

The proposal, penned by Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, would create an “electric vehicle roadmap” to identify ways in which the county can accelerate electric vehicle usage among the county fleet and by county employees. Fletcher will also call for the board to allocate funding for electric vehicles and charging stations.

“The development and implementation of the Electric Vehicle Roadmap will help position San Diego County as a leader in electric vehicle infrastructure,” Fletcher said. “We need to accelerate the county’s electric vehicle and charging station program or we’ll be left in the dust.”

According to Fletcher, the county has already bought 35 electric vehicles, has another 15 on order and has installed roughly 80 charging stations around the county. However, the city of Chula Vista has installed 123 electric vehicle chargers and has 49 electric vehicles in its fleet. Chula Vista also has roughly half the population of the county as a whole.

Fletcher pointed to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, headquartered in Diamond Bar in L.A. County, as an example of a successful electric vehicle program. The district, which is similar to San Diego’s Air Pollution Control District and represents Orange County and the non-desert areas of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties, launched an incentive program in 2015 and received nearly 1,000 electric vehicle chargers last year from Mercedes-Benz.

“Zero-emission vehicles have long been part of South Coast AQMD’s arsenal to tackle regional air quality challenges, but now it is clear they are also necessary to reduce impacts to environmental justice communities and combat greenhouse gases,” said SCAQMD Governing Board Member Judith Mitchell. “We welcome and support San Diego’s efforts to implement electric vehicles and look forward to partnering with them on future efforts.”

The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to discuss Fletcher’s proposal at Wednesday’s 9 a.m. meeting. The board will meet in room 310 at the County Administration Building, located at 1600 Pacific Highway.

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