Increasing usage of clean vehicles and other transportation alternatives is a key strategy in reducing the City’s greenhouse gas emissions. The City’s Climate Action Plan aims to increase the use of electric vehicles and promote the installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. These measures work hand in hand to make electric vehicles not only a cleaner source of transportation, but also a more convenient and accessible one. This site is intended to act as a central source to support the community’s transition to EVs and the installation of EV charging stations.
City's EV Charging Regulations
In 2019, the City adopted new EV charging regulations for residential and commercial properties. Applicants seeking permits for new residential and commercial buildings must include EV charging infrastructure in their project design. Applicants seeking permits to add to or alter existing commercial buildings greater than 10,0000 square feet will also be asked to install EV chargers. To learn more about the specific requirements, check out the ordinance, or the EV Charging Regulations Fact Sheet.
If you’re looking for an EV charging company to help you meet project requirements, take a look at the companies listed below. Often your electrician can recommend EV charging equipment as well.
Charging Station Networks and Options
Much like gas stations, various companies offer public charging of electric vehicles, allowing EV drivers to pull up, plug in, and pay to quickly charge their car’s battery for a fee. Some charging companies offer cheaper charging rates if you are signed up as a member, other companies allow instant charging after entering your credit card information.
There are different charging levels that will vary location to location and by company, which will affect the time required to charge your vehicle at such stations. Level 2 charging uses 240 V, and on average can provide enough charge to travel 124 miles in 5 hours (Chargehub). Most public chargers are Level 2. Remaining public chargers fall under DC fast charging, which provide the quickest charging for your electric vehicle; these station can provide, on average, enough charge to travel 124 miles in 30 minutes (Chargehub).
A sample of some of the charging networks in the San Diego region include:
When purchasing an EV, the most common place you’ll likely be charging is right at home! Home chargers also vary in type, including the aforementioned Level 2 chargers, which are often sold separately from the EV itself. The other type of home charger is Level 1, which is the slowest of EV charging station types, and connect to standard 120V outlets. On average a Level 1 charger will provide enough charge to travel 123 miles in 20 hours (Chargehub).
A sample of some of some of the residential EV charging equipment companies in the region include:
Finding a Charging Station
Trying to find a charging station or plan out a trip in your EV? PlugShare has maps of EV Charging Stations by type and location. Check them out here!
Funding for EV Charging Stations
Charging stations can be costly to install, creating a challenging barrier to further widespread adoption of EVs. Fortunately, there are a number of funding sources for installing EV chargers, including grants, rebates, incentives and low-cost financing.
Clean Cities Program
The Clean Cities Program, run by the U.S. Department of Energy, releases annual funding opportunities for cost-shared projects to accelerate the transition to alternative fuels and support alternative fuel infrastructure. To learn more about this program and funding opportunity, check out their website here.
The California Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project (CALeVIP) is an initiative funded by the California Energy Commission and run by the Center for Sustainable Energy that provides incentives for EV charging installations. The project aims to streamline installation of Level 2 and DC fast charging to meet current and future demands in the region. This program is currently fully subscribed, but there may be further opportunities in the future. To learn more about the program, you can find their website here.
The California Capital Access Program (CalCAP) Electric Vehicle Charging Station (EVCS) Financing Program incentivizes the installation of EV charging stations for landlords and small business owners by providing loans to small businesses. These loans are then eligible for a rebate of 10 or 15%. To learn more about these requirements and options, the program website can be found here.
Power Your Drive for Schools
San Diego Gas & Electric's Power Your Drive for Schools program works to accelerate installation of EV charging stations at educational institutions. The program aims to install 196 new EV chargers to a variety of schools. The program provides schools with no cost installation, versatile site design, pricing plan options, equipment ownership options, and public or private charging options. For eligibility requirements or to join the program's interest list, visit their website here.
Funding for Electric Vehicles
The cost to purchase or lease an electric vehicle is somewhat higher than traditional internal combustion engine vehicles. However, a savvy shopper can find rebates and incentives that make the transaction affordable. Additionally, EV’s have a lower maintenance cost when compared to gas-powered vehicles. EVs also save money on fueling! Charging an electric car can be significantly cheaper than a gas fill up, depending on where you live and when you charge your car. Additionally, since electric vehicles do not have a combustion engine, oil changes are not required. EVs also use regenerative breaking, significantly reducing the number of times brake pads will need to be replaced. In general, the components under the hood of an EV are more streamlined, making for fewer trips to the mechanic over the life of the vehicle.
The following list includes some of the EV purchase and lease rebates and incentives currently available.
IRC 30D New Qualified Plug-In Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Credit
This IRS tax credit provides $2500 plus for qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicles such as passenger vehicles and light trucks that were purchased after December 31, 2009. To see manufacturers and vehicles eligible for this credit, check out the program website here.
California Clean Vehicle Rebate Project
The California Clean Vehicle Rebate Project provides California residents who purchase or lease a new, eligible zero-emission or plug-in hybrid light-duty vehicle up to $7,000. This program has accelerated adoption of EVs across California, helping to put over 350,000 clean vehicles on the road since 2010. San Diego County is currently running a pilot program for rebate preapproval called CVRP Rebate Now; the application and further details can be found here. An application must be submitted within 3 months of purchase or lease, and further eligibility guidelines and program details can be found here.
California Clean Fuel Reward
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) and local electric utilities have come together to offer the California Clean Fuel Reward. This reward provides up to $1,500 off the purchase or lease of an eligible new Battery Electric or Plug-in Hybrid vehicle, with the reward amount depending on the vehicle's battery size. To learn more about this program and find a retailer, visit the program website here.
Clean Air Vehicle Decals
The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) runs the Clean Air Vehicle (CAV) decal program. This program provides vehicles that meet specified emission standards to display CAV decals and obtain CAV decal identification cards, which allow for the use of HOV (carpool) lanes with only one person in the vehicle. To learn more about the program and eligibility requirements, check out their website here.
Clean Vehicle Assistance Program
The Clean Vehicle Assistant (CVA) Program provides funding opportunities for income-qualified Californians to assist in the purchase or lease of a new or used electric or hybrid vehicle. The program is run by the beneficial state foundation and the California Air Resources Board (CARB), and is funded by California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts our state's Cap-and-Trade dollars to work with particular focus on disadvantaged communities. To learn more about eligibility and vehicle options, learn more at the program website here.
Consumer Assistance Program
The California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) provides a Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) that offers repair assistance and vehicle retirement options to eligible consumers in order to improve the state's air quality. Repair assistance consists of up to $1,200 in emissions-related repairs, while the vehicle retirement assistance consists of either $1,000 or $1,500 to retire an operational vehicle. For further program specifics and to apply online, visit the program website here.
The California Hybrid and Electric Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Program (HVIP) is run by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and CALSTART. HVIP provides incentives to accelerate the adoption of cleaner trucks and buses across the state of California. The program is anticipated to begin accepting new voucher requests in 2021. For more information on the program and details on its vehicle incentives, check out the website here.
Further Funding Opportunities
Check with your local car dealership and insurance carrier for other possible EV incentives and rebates!
Finally, in a partnership with the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) offers one on one technical assistance for any electric vehicle or EV charging station question you may have through their EV Expert Program. For more information on the program, check out their website here.