Regional leaders launch coalition to accelerate adoption of zero-emission vehicles

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SAN DIEGO – A diverse group of local leaders representing public, private and nonprofit organizations announced the launch of Accelerate to Zero Emissions – a one-of-a-kind regional collaboration dedicated to tackling air pollution and climate change through clean transportation on July 29. The coalition – made up of 13 entities, including the largest cities in the region – aims to facilitate the transition of residents and local businesses to electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

“We cannot tackle the climate crisis alone – it is collaborative partnerships like this that will help us meet our city’s climate action goals faster and make critical improvements to the quality of the city. air for our communities, ”said San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria. “This important commitment to transforming our transportation sector will create good local jobs and protect our quality of life for the next generation and beyond. “

At a press conference at the San Diego County Administrative Center, A2Z executives released the results of a new gap analysis, which identifies barriers to widespread adoption of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) , especially in underserved and marginalized communities. The report also quantifies for the first time how many EV chargers and hydrogen refueling stations are needed for the region to meet its share of California’s clean transportation target – 8 million ZEV on the highway. by 2030. The San Diego region’s share of this goal is 771,000. In 2020, the region had approximately 69,000 ZEVs in circulation. To keep up with the growth rate of the ZEV targeted by the region, around 155,000 EV chargers and a few dozen hydrogen refueling stations are needed. In 2020, there were 6,700 chargers in the region and a hydrogen refueling station.

“We have a long way to go to clean up the transportation sector – the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in California and our region and a very significant source of air pollution,” Estela said. de Llanos, Vice President of Energy Supply and Sustainability. “The gaps in our fueling infrastructure for zero emission vehicles are so great that no single entity can solve the problem on their own. Regional collaboration is essential.

As part of their climate action plan or sustainable development strategy, many local jurisdictions, agencies and businesses have already adopted clean transportation goals, policies and programs. SDG & E, which is committed to achieving zero net GHG emissions by 2045, has a diverse portfolio of programs to expand the regional electric vehicle charging infrastructure and has announced its intention to pilot hydrogen vehicles. Some cities and local agencies have recently upgraded their own fleets to electric or hybrid vehicles. Some have passed zoning ordinances for parking electric vehicles or streamlined the authorization process for installing chargers. The gap analysis revealed several overlapping clean transportation efforts and recommends coordinating them to have greater impact.

Besides SDG & E and the City of San Diego, other main members of A2Z are the County of San Diego, the County Air Pollution Control District, and the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). Other coalition members include the cities of Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Escondido, Santee, Cleantech San Diego, Grid Alternatives, MAAC, and the University of San Diego’s Energy Policy Initiatives Center. A2Z’s mission isn’t just to bring the San Diego area on a faster lane to clean transportation. Equally important for the coalition is to do so in a fair way – ensuring that residents of all income levels have access to zero-emission vehicles and share their benefits. A2Z started meeting last summer at the height of the pandemic.

“I am proud of this coalition for its focus on climate equity and environmental justice,” said Supervisor Nora Vargas, vice chair of the county watchdog and chair of the district air pollution control board. “This is something we are fighting for in District 1. Some of our communities are among the most affected and are often located along busy transportation corridors. As a result, these communities suffer from higher levels of asthma and other negative impacts. Reducing pollution from transportation will help improve public health so we can continue to build healthier and stronger communities. “

“Today is an important day for our region as we release the first Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Report for San Diego County,” said SANDAG Second Vice President and National City Mayor Alejandra. Sotelo-Solis. “Collaboration between agencies like SANDAG, County, City of San Diego and SDG&E is more important than ever as we work to create a faster, fairer and cleaner transportation system through the 2021 regional plan.”

Submitted by SDG & E.

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