Photo of electric vehicles and charging stations courtesy of San Diego County

Photo of electric vehicles and charging stations courtesy of San Diego County

San Diego County, Calif., recently opened its first electric vehicle (EV) charging site, complete with 10 charging stations, as the county moves forward with its plan to convert 5% of its light-duty fleet to EVs by 2020.

In 2016, San Diego County’s Department of General Services partnered with San Diego Gas & Electric (SDGE) to “plan for, design, and build electric fleet charging stations” specifically for county EVs, according to Bradley Northup, fleet acquisitions coordinator.

Staff identified 11 sites around the county that were deemed to have sufficient visitation and conversion possibilities. Northup said that some of the sites were chosen due to already present electrical capabilities.

While only seven locations have been approved so far, they are all on track to be fully operational by July. The charging station opened earlier this week at the county’s operations center is the first to be used by the county’s EV fleet.

“Each site was specifically tailored for the fleet vehicle usage at that site,” Northup said. “We’re working directly with those departments to identify the best vehicles for their use.” 

Currently, there are six Ford C-Max Energi vehicles in use by the General Services fleet that are part of a pilot program testing out a consolidated motor pool and keyless entry system. 

The county’s goals include a 5% EV vehicle conversion of its light-duty fleet by 2020, for a total of 125 electric vehicles. By May, Northup said the county expects to have 25 fully operational electric and plug-in electric vehicles. It’s estimated that these efforts will decrease a converted vehicle’s greenhouse gas emissions by 30%.

For the county, there are added benefits of a decrease in costs for maintenance, operations, and fuel.