Salt Lake City Co-Hosts Electric Vehicle Charging Workshop for Local Governments
by Ryan Anderson, SLCgreen intern, and Tyler Poulson
Salt Lake City Sustainability recently helped host a workshop at the Utah Division of Air Quality to educate a diverse range of local government leaders on electric vehicle charger site selection, installation, and management.
In partnership with Leaders for Clean Air, Rocky Mountain Power, Utah Clean Cities, and the Utah Division of Air Quality, we engaged dozens of representatives from local governments, plus staff from higher-education institutions, companies, and non-profits on how to build a robust charging network while leveraging local incentives.
Salt Lake City’s Climate Positive 2040 goal of Clean Transportation requires swift electric vehicle adoption throughout the region. Our recently published Electrified Transportation Roadmap highlights opportunities to support EVs which reduce local air pollutants along the Wasatch Front up to 99% relative to gasoline vehicles.
Fortunately, broader trends suggest a move to electrified transportation. Electric vehicles are expected to make up 55% of global new car sales in just a couple decades and by planning ahead and installing electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) we can make that transition as smooth as possible.
While most charging is done at home or work, Salt Lake City has installed public chargers at over 15 sites to support electric vehicle owners who need a quick battery boost between trips.
The City is committed to lowering barriers to EV ownership and preventing air pollution, which is why most of our stations are free to use as of late February 2018. This incentive led to a notable jump in usage and the network now provides over 1,000 charging sessions per month.
Low-cost electricity ensures minimal utility bill impacts. Thus far, annualized costs for providing free Level 2 charging for the entire network is trending below the original estimate of $12,000 per year, providing balance between clean air goals and fiscal responsibility.
From the project’s launch date in March 2017 through August 2018, Salt Lake City has so far prevented around 100,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions and saved users 11,465 gallons of gasoline worth $34,395 (assuming $3/gallon).
But it shouldn’t stop with us. In the future, we hope that by forming partnerships with other local governments we can share experiences and the data we’ve collected to inspire more EV charging infrastructure delivering air quality wins across Utah.
The great news is that now is a prime time for businesses, schools, and local governments to start installing electric vehicle chargers. With millions of dollars in incentives available from Rocky Mountain Power, and with the Utah Division of Air Quality providing additional support from the Volkswagen settlement, we have great support to prepare for a cleaner, electrified future.
It is clear that electric vehicles are part of the solution to climate change AND air quality, and we are excited by Utah’s potential as a leader in charging infrastructure.
By choosing green transportation options whether it’s biking, walking, taking the bus, riding TRAX, or driving an EV, you too can improve the health, happiness, and safety of our community.