San Francisco Receives New State Funding to Advance Electric Vehicle Strategies
Mayor London N. Breed today announced San Francisco has been awarded $2.4 million from the California Energy Commission (CEC) to help the City reduce air pollution and advance its Climate Action Plan. Last week, San Francisco officially accepted funding from the State that will add more Electric Vehicle (EV) charging plazas, fund a new e-bike food delivery pilot program, build on the City’s efforts to make climate and EV programs equitable and accessible for all residents, and support the development of a robust EV mapping tool.
This CEC EV grant funds a piece of San Francisco’s larger strategy to fight the climate crisis and reach net-zero emissions by 2040. Addressing climate change means tackling San Francisco’s transportation and land use issues head on. At nearly 50% of total city emissions, the transportation system must be transformed to reduce overall reliance on cars and equitably and efficiently connect people to where they want to go by transit, walking, and biking. All remaining vehicles must transition to zero-emissions.
To support that transition, Mayor Breed’s Climate Action Plan includes several detailed strategies to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles and other electric mobility options. This year, Mayor Breed sponsored an ordinance to update the Planning Code to make the installation of EV charging sites easier, which will help expedite the public expansion of citywide EV charging stations, and builds upon EV charging legislation she sponsored in 2019.
“San Francisco is continuing to lead in the transition to electrifying our transportation sector and cleaning the air we breathe,” said Mayor Breed. “We already have one of the greenest transit fleets in the country with Muni, and are adding more electric vehicle infrastructure on City-owned lots. This funding will help us expand that work to more communities so all residents can benefit from electric vehicles, and pilot innovative programs in our delivery sector. These strategies are all part of our comprehensive Climate Action plan and goals to be emission-free by 2040.”
“The California Energy Commission is committed to helping cities transition to a zero-emission transportation system,” said CEC Commissioner Patty Monahan. “We look forward to working with San Francisco as they implement their plans to bring charging stations to underserved communities and shift delivery workers away from cars and onto bikes.”
New EV Charging Plazas
With this funding from the State, three additional charging plazas will be built, bringing more fast-charging options for San Francisco residents and visitors. Currently, the City has 104 publicly accessible fast chargers throughout San Francisco, enough to serve approximately 14,000 EV drivers. Prior CEC grants and new funding will support the City’s progress to phase out gas-fueled vehicles and satisfy the needs of an all-electric transportation system by 2040 with a total of 680 publicly accessible fast chargers. An estimated 47% of San Francisco's greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation, with private vehicles making up a large majority of that number.
In the first half of 2022, 26% of new vehicle registrations in the City were zero-emission vehicles. While the number of EV registrations continue to grow, there are still communities without access to EV charging options. Currently, the Bayview neighborhood is one of the only neighborhoods in San Francisco without a fast-charging station. Without convenient access to a fast charger, nearby residents might be discouraged from purchasing EVs, which disincentivizes EV charging providers from installing stations.
Community education and engagement is an essential component of the Mayor’s Climate Action Plan and is also a critical part of the grant initiative from the CEC. The grant will fund a CBO (Community Based Organization) to lead an engagement and input process to ensure the community is involved in the selection of a site for the charging plaza in the Bayview.
E-Bike Delivery Pilot
The one-year pilot program will provide up to 30 San Francisco food delivery workers with electric bicycles to use for making deliveries, instead of relying on cars that contribute to poor air quality. The program will monitor usage and other statistics to better inform planning that includes electric bicycles in local food delivery as a way to reduce emissions and traffic congestion. If successful, the City’s innovation could pave the way for an industry realignment towards sustainability that shifts delivery workers from cars to electric bicycles. The pilot is targeted to begin in early 2023.
Equitable EV Strategies
As part of the community engagement component, the CBO will also conduct a public education campaign focusing on underserved communities and neighborhoods with low EV registration about the benefit of EVs, varying purchase options, and the availability of rebates and incentives for lower-income residents. The overall goal of this component of the grant is to increase equitable access to EVs for all San Franciscans.
New EV Mapping Tool
Finally, the grant will create a new mapping tool to reduce time spent on siting public fast-charger installations and associated costs. This tool builds upon the current robust Electric
Vehicle Mapping Tool, which was funded by a previous CEC grant and will show EV users where existing public charging stations are available in San Francisco and allow them to mark where they think future publicly accessible charging locations would be convenient. The Department will partner with Google to design and launch the map.
“We are rapidly building the city of the future by expanding the number of zero-emission transportation options and all-electric buildings,” said Tyrone Jue, Acting Director of the San Francisco Environment Department. “We will continue to leverage our limited city resources to pursue state and federal funding that accelerates the implementation of our climate plan, particularly in our underserved areas of San Francisco with higher pollution levels.”
The Mayor’s 2019 legislation includes innovative strategies, such as requiring commercial parking lots and garages with more than 100 parking spaces to install EV charging stations in at least 10% of the parking spaces by January 2023. Other important work that builds on the advancement of reaching critical climate milestones includes ramping up plans for EV charging in up to 38 municipal lots and garages, resulting in the installation of up to 200 new fast charging ports.
More information about San Francisco’s efforts to become 100% emissions-free can be found in the Mayor’s Climate Action Plan and Electric Vehicle Roadmap.
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