Informing the location of plug-in electric vehicle charging stations in the City of Santa Monica

Informing the location of plug-in electric vehicle charging stations in the City of Santa Monica

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Mon, 09/18/2017 - 3:34pm

The City of Santa Monica has set an ambitious and laudable goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 or sooner. To achieve this goal, the city  is making a concerted effort to promote the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) that are capable of zero emissions. This effort requires strategic investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure (also referred to as electric vehicle supply equipment or EVSE). The lack of conveniently accessible charging stations  is one of the key barriers preventing PEVs from achieving a larger market share of new vehicle purchases.

Over the past year, the Luskin Center for Innovation worked with the City of Santa Monica to identify specific sites within the Santa Monica where charging infrastructure will support the greatest number of PEV drivers. Siting recommendations were broken out according to the three main charging typologies where PEVs will be docked for extended periods: workplace charging, commercial (retail) charging, and home charging for MUD residents. Across all three of these charging typologies, the Downtown Expo Line station area ranked highly compared to other regions of the city. Siting recommendations were based on a variety of data sources, including vehicle registrations, regional commute patterns, employment densities, and the existing inventory of publicly-accessible charging infrastructure.

Among the aforementioned charging typologies, home charging for MUD residents should be a top investment priority for planners and policymakers. Overnight charging is currently the most affordable way to charge, since this is when electricity rates are the lowest, and thus is the most attractive option for price-sensitive PEV drivers. Home charging is relatively straightforward for residents in single family homes, who usually have access to a dedicated parking space with a nearby electrical outlet. MUD residents, however, often lack this amenity, likely suppressing PEV adoption among this group. To incentivize MUD owners to install charging infrastructure for their residents, we recommend piloting a rebate program that covers both the equipment and installation costs (including labor).

To read the report and its full list of recommendations shared with the City of Santa Monica, click here

 

The City of Santa Monica has set an ambitious and laudable goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 or sooner. To achieve this goal, the city  is making a concerted effort to promote the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) that are capable of zero emissions. This effort requires strategic investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure (also referred to as electric vehicle supply equipment or EVSE).