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Santa Monica Set to Add 29 Electric Vehicle Charging Stations


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By Jorge Casuso

July 21, 2017 -- Santa Monica is poised to add 29 electric vehicle charging stations across the city under a contract expected to be approved by the City Council on Tuesday.

As part of the proposed contract with California-based ChargePoint, the City will purchase and install 55 new ports at a cost of $229,077 and pay the company $13,075 a year for four years in operating costs, according to City staff.

The City must choose a vendor before it can apply for free electrical infrastructure under Southern California Edison’s (SCE) Charge Ready pilot program for new EV charging stations, which would provide a rebate of of $22,151, staff said.

"The City’s public infrastructure for electric vehicle (EV) charging is inadequate to meet the growing needs of City fleet and private vehicles," staff wrote in its report to the council.

At a future date, City officials also will consider replacing the City’s 75 existing ports with new chargers when funding is available.

The existing ports include seven dual-port chargers at the Civic Center Structure provided by UCLA through a grant-funded research project and nine charging stations at City Yards used exclusively for the City’s 130 electric vehicles, staff said.

"With the advent of the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3, EVs will continue to increase," staff said. "Additionally, increasing EV charging will be essential for the City’s carbon neutrality goals."

City fleet vehicles will be charged mostly in the afternoon or evening, when the cost and demand for electricity is low, staff said.

This fall, the Council will be presented with an EV Action Plan that will "provide a comprehensive strategy to increase EV ownership and charging infrastructure through policies, programs, projects and pilots," staff said.

Known for its various green measures, Santa Monica adopted one of the nation’s first sustainable city plans in 1994 and has a goal of being “carbon neutral” by 2050.

Last September City officials reported a 20 percent reduction for greenhouse gas emissions, exceeding the goal of reducing communitywide emissions 15 percent below 1990 levels by the end of 2015.

"A significant portion of emissions reductions came from the community using less energy and replacing dirty energy sources with clean, renewable energy," City officials said.

While not the lowest bidder, ChargePoint was selected based on its "experience, strength of existing network and user base, integrated product and services, and value of services," staff said.


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