Public input sought for electric vehicle charging stations – Santa Cruz Sentinel

SANTA CRUZ – More electric vehicle charging stations are coming to the Central Coast and Santa Cruz County residents have an opportunity to help determine where they’ll be placed.

Public input is being sought by the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission as part of a coordinated regional effort to identify new locations for public electric vehicle charging stations. The request comes as part of the Central Coast Zero Emission Vehicle Strategy, a collaborative effort amongst six counties aiming to foster an increase in the number of zero-emission vehicles on California roads.

The project is led by the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments, Association of Monterey Bay Governments, San Luis Obispo Council of Governments with partnerships in Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties.

“Electric cars are the future of transportation and the number of these vehicles on the road continues to grow,” said Communications Specialist for the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission Shannon Munz in a prepared release. “We want to make charging as effortless as possible and need the public’s help to identify opportunities to make it even better and easier to charge on the fly.”

The interactive mapping tool gives residents the opportunity to pinpoint ideal locations for electric vehicle charging stations across Santa Cruz County and the Central Coast. Participants can specify the desired charger type and submit written comments or suggestions.

The initiative focuses on three charging varieties specifically including, Level 2, DC Fast Chargers and Tesla Superchargers. According to the Central Coast Zero Emission Vehicle website, the output for a Level 2 charger is about 10 to 20 miles of range per hour and the DC Fast Chargers provide about an 80% charge in 20 to 30 minutes. The Tesla proprietary charger can provide up to 200 miles in about 15 minutes.

Currently, there are a total of 212 electric vehicle charging stations in the cities of Watsonville, Capitola, Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley, according to the website PlugShare. There are approximately 30 more charging stations in the unincorporated regions of Aptos, Bonny Doon, Felton, Rio Del Mar, Soquel and Zayante.

The Central Coast project has not specified how many additional public stations it hopes to bring to the region, though public input using the mapping tool is open until October and the estimated completion date for the project is May 2023, according to its website.

Statewide, plans to transition to zero emission vehicles as the primary mode of transportation are also gaining momentum. The Associated Press reported in April that California currently has 80,000 electric vehicle charging stations but plans to establish 250,000 by 2025.

In a May release, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office shared that about 1.1 million new zero emission vehicles – including electric cars – had been sold, accounting for 16.3% of all new vehicle sales this year, up from 12.4% in 2021 and 7.7% in 2020.

“Our state is on the frontlines of extreme weather,” Newsom said. “We’re taking aggressive steps to protect Californians from the costs of climate change – transitioning away from the big polluters fueling this crisis and towards clean energy.”

To participate

What: Central Coast Zero Emission Vehicle Strategy.

When: Now through October.

How: Visit bit.ly/CCZEV.

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