Cassandra Melching

Cassandra Melching

As electric vehicle adoption becomes more commonplace, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District may be able to help local public agencies and businesses install electric vehicle charging infrastructure at their properties.

Gov. Jerry Brown, in 2012, issued Executive Order B-16-12 that set into motion new standards for California encouraging the use of more zero-emissions vehicles. One of the first goals of the governor’s action is for California to be able to accommodate more ZEVs through the development of infrastructure plans by 2015.

Multiple stakeholders in the San Joaquin Valley worked together to complete a Plug-in Electric Vehicle Readiness Plan that identified the infrastructure needs in the valley (http://valleyair.org/grants/pev.htm). By 2020, California’s infrastructure will be able to support up to 1 million ZEVs. By 2025, 1.5 million ZEVs will be on California’s roadways with easy access to infrastructure.

The electric vehicle market is experiencing substantial growth, and the residents in the San Joaquin Valley are beginning to take advantage of the significant state and local incentives available, rebates that can top $6,000, for the purchase or lease of an EV.

For local valley businesses, this is exciting news. It’s a way for local retailers and commercial businesses to capitalize on additional traffic to their properties by becoming EV ready. Not only will it attract new and repeat customers, but it will also increase visiting/shopping time, which in turn, boosts customer satisfaction and reinforces an eco-friendly image for one’s property.

There is also an added benefit for employees as well. By offering charging stations, a company is more likely to attract and retain a higher quality workforce, which in turn, enhances employee productivity and satisfaction.

A U.S. Department of Energy survey reported that workers are 20 times more likely to buy a plug-in car if their employer offered at-work charging. With a higher quality workforce and increased traffic, why wouldn’t one consider installing chargers?

The burden of funding the cost to install EV chargers doesn’t have to solely fall on the public agency or the commercial owner. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District’s Charge Up! Program will help fund the purchase and installation of publicly accessible electric vehicle chargers. The program offers valley businesses and public agencies up to $6,000 for a Level 2 charger and up to $25,000 for a Level 3/DC Fast Charger.

The goal of this program is to further strengthen the valley’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure to ensure the technology’s sustainability in the region and ease the “range anxiety” that concerns many existing and potential electric vehicle owners.

For more information about the Charge Up! Program, please visit www.valleyair.org/chargeup.

Cassandra Melching is an outreach and communications representative for San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.

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