Mar 20, 2024 - News

San Francisco city leaders push for curbside EV charging stations

man stands at brown podium surrounded by people holding signs that say "rev up drive clean" and "electrify your ride"

Supervisor Rafael Mandelman held a press conference yesterday in support of EV curbside charging stations. Photo: Courtesy of Rafael Mandelman's office

City officials want to install thousands of curbside EV charging stations throughout San Francisco to support EV adoption, and said they hope to have a pilot program in place by next year.

Why it matters: San Francisco is working toward becoming a net-zero emissions city by 2040, and city leaders see curbside EV charging as imperative to meeting those goals.

Driving the news: District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, alongside leaders from the San Francisco Environment Commission and other city agencies, announced Tuesday that the city is assessing the feasibility of a curbside EV charging program.

  • The first step is to evaluate how to install, operate and maintain curbside public charging stations in the city.
  • Mandelman said the hope is to implement the pilot by next year, but city agencies still need to determine the project's cost.

What they're saying: "It's about creating a more equitable and sustainable transportation ecosystem," he told reporters.

The big picture: Fossil fuels from transportation account for nearly half of greenhouse gas emissions in San Francisco, according to city data.

  • As part of the city's goal to reach net-zero emissions, San Francisco has set an interim goal for 25% of all registered vehicles to be electric by 2030.
  • Meanwhile, as California plans to ban the sales of new gasoline-fueled vehicles in 2035, the cost of charging electric vehicles is increasing.

Yes, but: "The most serious obstacle today to replacing fossil fuel cars is getting access to power for residents of multifamily housing," Marc Geller, co-founder of the Golden Gate Electric Vehicle Association, said at the press event.

  • Geller said he sees curbside EV charging stations as a useful tool for those who don't have access to affordable EV charging at their homes.

Friction point: Mayor London Breed has ordered city departments to focus only on their core operations and plan for 10% budget cuts in each of the next two years.

  • Without spending reductions, San Francisco's deficit could reach $1 billion in 2027.
  • Breed will present her budget on June 1, and the Board of Supervisors has until July to review it.
  • Breed has been supportive over the years of increasing EV charging infrastructure, but has not commented on the proposed plan involving curbside EV charging stations.

What to watch: If all goes according to plan, the city aims to install 5,000 curbside charging stations throughout the city by 2030.

  • Meanwhile, Mandelman introduced a resolution at Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting urging support for the initiative.
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