The California Energy Commission is partnering with Sonoma Clean Power (SCP) and four local air districts to launch an incentive project with investments potentially reaching $6.75 million to expand publicly accessible electric vehicle charging (EV) infrastructure in Sonoma and Mendocino counties.
The incentive project, scheduled to launch in October of 2020, is an initiative of the Energy Commission’s California Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project (CALeVIP), which works with local community partners to develop and implement regional incentive projects for charging infrastructure that supports the adoption of EVs statewide.
“Following the success of our Drive EV program, in which over 1,250 electric vehicles were incentivized, we have shifted our focus to increasing the number of publicly available EV charging stations in our service territory. We are thrilled to be working with the Energy Commission on this effort that will help lead to even more local EV adoption,” said Geof Syphers, Chief Executive Officer of Sonoma Clean Power.
“The Energy Commission is excited to work with all our partners on this project to increase access to convenient charging for electric vehicles in Sonoma and Mendocino counties,” said Commissioner Patty Monahan of the Energy Commission. “By expanding the State’s charging network, CALeVIP projects like this one help the State transition to zero-emission transportation, provide cleaner air, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
The Sonoma Coast Regional Incentive Project will be implemented by the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) and funded primarily by the Energy Commission’s Clean Transportation Program (also known as the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program).
The Energy Commission is proposing to provide $5.1 million towards the regional project upfront, with SCP contributing $1.5 million through CALeVIP over three years. MCAQMD and the RCPA will lend technical support and resources to the project. The NoSoCoAir will provide an additional $150,000 over three years for projects installed within its jurisdiction, and chargers installed in BAAQMD territory may be eligible to receive additional incentives through the District’s Charge! program.
“NoSoCoAir is proud to partner with state and local agencies to ensure a sustainable, green future for the residents and visitors of Sonoma and Mendocino counties,” said Rob Bamford, Executive Officer of the Northern Sonoma County Air Pollution Control District.
“The development of EV infrastructure in our communities is a substantive step in the effort to reduce GHG and other emissions that will improve the quality of life throughout the region. This project will open the door for urban and rural communities to adopt zero-emission vehicles,” Bamford added.
Currently, there are an estimated 460 charging stations available to the public throughout Sonoma and Mendocino counties, including both fast and standard chargers. SCP and its partners in the project expect to significantly increase the number of public chargers in the region, improving the accessibility and convenience of driving an electric vehicle for residents and visitors alike.
The incentive project will provide rebates for Direct Current Fast Chargers (DCFC) and Level 2 chargers. Proposed rebates will offer up to $8,000 per connector for Level 2 chargers, and up to $80,000 per DCFC or 80% of the project’s total cost, whichever is less.
“With growing numbers of car shoppers in Sonoma and Mendocino counties choosing electric vehicles, it is increasingly important that public charging stations be established at convenient locations, along the highways, and at common destinations,” said Andy Hoskinson, CSE’s Senior Manager for EV initiatives. “Local EV sales should increase as area residents realize they can find easily accessible charging stations throughout the region.”
Interested parties, including property owners, contractors, and network providers, can learn more about plug-in EV charging and CALeVIP by visiting CALeVIP.org.