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Charged Up!

» Posted July 17, 2017Kelsey Taber News

Electric vehicles are more common today than they were ten years ago and they will be more common in ten years than they are today. California is home to the highest concentration of electric vehicles in the nation. With more automakers making a considerable effort towards manufacturing affordable electric vehicles, we can expect to see the number of electric vehicles on the road to continue growing. 

San Diego Gas and Electric (“SDG&E”) has launched an impressive new program called “Power Your Drive.” SDG&E has been authorized to install 3,500 electric vehicle charging stations throughout its service area. The charging stations will be placed in multi-family dwellings and businesses. These charging stations will be owned, operated and maintained by SDG&E, including any necessary repairs. SDG&E will also provide assistance with vehicle owner sign-up and billing. The only cost to your community is a simple participation payment fee of $235.00 per charging station. 

SDG&E is looking to install these charging stations in places where multiple people will be able to benefit from them, so this program is not intended for single-family consumers. Businesses, condos and apartments are the ideal applicants. The optimal location for the charging stations will be on private areas of the property because these charging stations are not intended to be used by the general public. To ensure that the only people benefiting from these stations are connected to the site location (i.e., members or employees), there will be a list of approved drivers who can use the stations. This should also help prevent long wait times to use one of the charging stations. 

At the moment, this program is only being offered to people who are already being serviced by SDG&E. If you are under its coverage and your community could benefit from offering electric vehicle charging stations then all you need to do is complete the following six steps: 

  • Sign up on the interest list, which can be found on the SDG&E website. (https://www.sdge.com/clean-energy/electric-vehicles/poweryourdrive)
  • Someone from SDG&E should contact you to schedule a 20-minute phone call to better understand the specific needs of your community and will answer any questions you may have about the program.
  • If this program seems to be a good fit for your community then you will need to submit an application, which can also be found on the SDG&E website.
  • Upon approving the application, SDG&E will walk the site and confirm a charging station location.
  • You will then need to sign the Power Your Drive easement (consult legal counsel).
  • Finally, you will select an electric vehicle service provider and SDG&E will install the chargers and provide guidance in driver sign-up. 

The current timeframe from signing up on the interest list to receiving the charging stations is a couple of months. During that time a survey will need to be completed by the residents or employees which will gauge their interest in the proposed charging stations. Currently, the biggest delay in the process is conducting the survey and receiving an adequate number of responses from the residents. It is important that there is interest from your community so that these stations are not just sitting unused on the property. 

SDG&E is providing communities with a unique opportunity to make a significant difference, both in terms of protecting the environment and bringing an additional amenity to the residents. This simple upgrade within your community demonstrates to current and potential residents that you are aware of the electric vehicle movement and the push towards alternative fuels and clean energy. Electric vehicle charging stations will one day become an expected commodity within communities so it will only benefit your community to be ahead of those expectations.