Electric vehicle charging capacity to expand at SoCal military bases
More electric vehicle charging stations are coming to Naval Base San Diego and plans are underway to further expand EV infrastructure at bases throughout Southern California, the Navy announced last week.
The California Energy Commission (CEC) approved almost $2 million in grants for the Navy and Marine Corps electrification program at its Jan. 25 meeting.
Rear Adm. Brad Rosen, the commander of Navy Region Southwest in San Diego, told KPBS the grant is a key part of the Navy's partnership with the state's energy commission.
"We signed a memorandum of understanding back in 2021," Rosen said. "It allows us to work in partnership to pursue projects that will benefit the Navy operationally and ... our local community in the state of California in terms of its environmental goals."
Ten "level 2" EV chargers and four "level 3" fast EV chargers will be installed at Naval Base San Diego for both personal and government vehicles as part of a pilot program to study the demand for such chargers on base, the Navy said.
There are already chargers available for privately-owned EVs at four locations across San Diego's Navy installations, Rosen said. More than 100 chargers have already been installed across those installations for the service's fleet of EV and plug-in hybrids.
Most of the funds from the CEC — $1.5 million — will be used to study and plan for EV charging infrastructure at Navy bases in San Diego, Ventura County and Lemoore, Calif. and Marine Corps bases Camp Pendleton, Miramar and Twentynine Palms.
Rosen said it will take significant changes to base electric grids to get them fully electrified.
"I think this study will be the first part of the effort to inform those upgrades and will tell us where we need to pursue changes (and) what upgrades we need to make," he said. "I think the expansion of electric vehicles will only continue. This is an alignment with both the state of California and the federal government's goals."
An executive order signed by President Joe Biden in 2021 directed the federal government to stop buying gas-powered vehicles by 2035.