The Los Angeles City Council is putting forth a plan to expand the number of city-owned electric vehicles to at least 10,000 and deploy a sizeable charging infrastructure for EVs throughout the city.
On Wednesday morning, Councilmen Mitch O’Farrell and Paul Krekorian, who introduced the motion, announced the plan outside Los Angeles City Hall. The proposal was passed by a 12-0 vote, according to NBC Los Angeles.
“Historically, this city has the worst air quality in the nation thanks to freeways, sprawl, gas-powered vehicles,” O’Farrell commented during the meeting. “The automotive age of the last century turbo-charged our descent into that dubious distinction that we all live with today, especially disadvantaged communities that bear the brunt of this degradation because of their proximity adjacent to major transportation infrastructure, thoroughfares, arterioles, freeways, underpasses.”
Luckily, California is adopting the electric vehicle movement quickly, which should alleviate many of the environmental concerns that spring from driving gas-powered cars. The U.S. Department of Energy shows California is the state with the highest rate of electric vehicle adoption. Data shows California had 425,300 light-duty EV registrations in 2020, with Florida and Texas following in second and third, respectively.
Los Angeles, despite having California’s highest population with nearly 4 million people, has a relatively lackluster EV fleet in terms of its government agency. The city’s current fleet of EVs consists of 124 sedans, 46 plug-in hybrids, and two hybrid electric street sweepers, the report said. There are plans to add four light-duty electric trucks later this year.
In addition to the expanding fleet of cars, LA will need a place to charge them. The city is also planning to increase the charging infrastructure considerably after 350 chargers have been installed across Los Angeles in the past five years. “There’s a lot of work to be done over the course of the next few years,” O’Farrell added. LA will need an estimated 97,000 EV charging stations by the time the decade ends.
The meeting only covered the approval, and there have been no discussions regarding a time frame or how much it may cost. However, the motion will align with the LA100 initiative, which sets a goal for the city to be carbon-free by 2035.
The largest fleets in the city, being the Bureau of Street Services, LA Sanitation and Environment, the Department of Recreation and Parks, and the Department of Transportation, will be the first to be affected by the transition. Meanwhile, the Department of General Services will start by planning to install charging stations at 600 city-owned facilities.
I’d love to hear from you! If you have any comments, concerns, or questions, please email me at [email protected]. You can also reach me on Twitter @KlenderJoey, or if you have news tips, you can email us at [email protected].