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How San Diego Businesses, Government Can Help Get More Electric Cars On the Road

Electric cars are parked at the Los Angeles Police Department in 2016. California's latest plan for to fight climate change includes renewable energy and putting millions of electric cars on the road.
Nick Ut AP
Electric cars are parked at the Los Angeles Police Department in 2016. California's latest plan for to fight climate change includes renewable energy and putting millions of electric cars on the road.
How San Diego Businesses, Government Can Help Get More Electric Cars On the Road
How San Diego Businesses, Government Can Help Get More Electric Cars On the Road GUEST:Kevin Wood, clean transportation specialist, Center for Sustainable Energy

>> About health of California greenhouse gas emissions come from vehicles so that the state wants to meet climate change goals getting more electric cars on the road would have a major impact. Governor Brown has called for 5 million electric vehicles by 2030 which is an ambitious goal since there is less than one half million on the road right now. San Diego's center force sustainable energy will hold a forum tomorrow night on how to buy electric cars. Joining me is Kevin Wood with the Center for sustainable entry energy. Of those about 300 80,000 electric vehicles statewide how many are in San Diego and how many would we need to meet goals? >> We currently have 25 to 30,000 electric vehicle vehicles on the road and we are in trot to meet with the governor's previous goal of 150,000 by 2025 but to meet that more ambitious 500,000 gold you would need to triple that 150,000 number two close to 500 electric vehicles by 2030. >> What impact would it have two add 400 to 500,000 more cars here in San Diego? >> It would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 10 percent and as that 500,000 number represents 20 percent of the vehicles on the road in San Diego County so it would have a substantial impact and almost a greater impact than any other single measure that we can think of for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. >> So the governor is calling for a tenfold increase in electric cars in San Diego. What infrastructure do you need to support that? >> A lot more than we have now so the great thing about electric vehicles is you can charge them at home overnight but that is assuming that you have a garage or a parking spot where you can charge them so for everyone who does not live in a apartment complex or on the street we will need more public charging infrastructure and the second best place to charges that work so there are currently programs and there will be need to be more programs to install so when you're cark it is parked all day it can charge but we will need more public charging and faster charging station along freeways that allow folks who are visiting the region or if you want to pull off the freeway for a few minutes to charge to make sure you can reach your destination. >> Are there any estimation on how much that would cost and whose responsibility that would be? >> There is not a direct cost estimate but there are estimates of the number of charging stations and by 2025 we would need at least 250,000 more public level II charging stations throughout the state and at least 10,000 more fast charge stations and the price tag for all of those stations could reach into the hundreds of millions or into $1 billion. >> The San Diego supervisors passed the plant a few weeks ago and Ron Roberts said if we can get more electric cars on the road than emissions will fall low enough that we won't have to think about as much limiting how far people travel when we take into account future development and future climate plants. Does the map hold up? >> It does to some extent. There is important reasons why we should reduce our driving from a cost basis it is cheaper to not drive then to go out and buy an electric car but for all of those people that need to drive and we have unfortunately built up our region around the car and there will still be people who need to drive and if we can get all of these people into electric vehicles we can come closer to meeting our climate goals and if I would keeps driving and does not switch to electric cars we will not reach our goal goals. >> So is there a tipping point once we get X number of cars to be electric? >> I don't know if there is a specific tipping point but the goal is at least 20 to 25 percent of new vehicles sold by 2030 should be elect and if our long-term climate goals are met you really need to look at everybody 100 percent of the cars on the road need to be electric. There is currently a bill in the state legislature that would ban the sale of gasoline cars after 2040 and something like that would need to pass to stop driving gasoline cars to get those goals met in the long-term. >> There are federal credits to make them cheaper for buyers but they expire after a company makes 200,000 electric cars. Since companies are making more of these cars, are we headed for more expensive cars in the near future says these credits expire? >> The great news is that over the last eight years electric vehicles have been mainstreamed and the cost of batteries has dropped from 1000 dollars per kilowatt hour to less then $200 per kilowatt hour so there is an 80 percent decrease in battery cost over the last eight years and we expect that the battery costs will continue to go down. There might be a short-term impact when those credits expire but because the cost of the vehicles is coming down because the cost of the batteries are coming down in the next few years electric vehicles won't necessarily have to cost any more than standard gasoline vehicles. Additionally besides the tether federal tax credit there is a state rebate in the state of California and that is committed to be funded including an increased incentive to low and moderate income consumer to make this affordable to the mass-market. >> I have been speaking with Kevin Wood clean transportation specialist on Kevin thank you, very much. >> Thank you for having me.

Event

A Forum on the role of electric vehicles in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and how government, businesses and communities can help will be held on Thursday, March 22, 2018 from 6- 7:30 pm at the Center for Sustainable Energy at 9325 Sky Park Ct, Suite 100 San Diego, CA 92123.

About half of California’s greenhouse gas emissions come from vehicles. So if the state wants to meet its climate change goals, getting more electric cars and trucks on the road could have a major impact. Gov. Jerry Brown has called for 5 million electric vehicles in California by 2030. It is an ambitious goal, since there are fewer than half a million electric vehicles on the road in California right now.

RELATED: Study Finds California Clean Vehicle Target Within Reach

San Diego’s Center for Sustainable Energy is hosting a forum Thursday night on how local government and businesses can encourage more people to buy electric cars.

RELATED: San Diego Takes Charge Of New EV Rebate Program

Kevin Wood, clean transportation specialist with the Center for Sustainable Energy discusses the environmental impact of adopting more electric cars in San Diego County.