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SANDAG Legislation to Promote Neighborhood Electric Vehicles Signed Into Law

September 21, 2018 - Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 1151 into law, which will enable San Diego County or any city in the county to establish a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV) Transportation Plan to serve the transportation needs of its residents, while supporting a sustainable and healthy region.

NEVs are low speed, motorized vehicles that have four wheels and can reach speeds up to 25 mph. These vehicles can be used in neighborhoods for local trips and could help cities reach Climate Action Plan goals by giving residents zero emission transportation options. To operate NEVs, drivers must have a valid driver license, registration, and insurance.

SANDAG sponsored the legislation, which was carried by Senator Pat Bates, who represents the 36th Senate District covering South Orange County, North San Diego County, and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. Senate Bill 1151 received support from a wide range of organizations including the Center for Sustainable Energy, the Electric Vehicle Association of San Diego, and the Sierra Club.

'We are very pleased that Governor Brown signed SB 1151 into law this week. This bill will help to expand mobility choices, enhance connections to transit beyond the first and last mile, and reduce drive-alone trips and greenhouse gas emissions in the San Diego region,' said SANDAG Board Chair and Del Mar Councilmember Terry Sinnott. 'We appreciate Senator Pat Bates' leadership on this legislation and look forward to working with our partners throughout the region to advance the implementation of NEV plans in support of our regional transportation and sustainability goals.'

San Diego Forward: The 2019-2050 Regional Plan envisions the expansion of publicly-shared NEVs as a way to provide a clean, economical, and convenient transportation alternative for neighborhood trips or connecting to transit.

“With this bill, the cities and county will be able to provide their residents, businesses, and visitors with more options to travel to their favorite places in a clean and convenient way. Shared mobility is an important way to meet our regional greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets, and this is one more tool in the tool box we can use to do that.”

In order to take full advantage of the benefits that NEVs provide - including transit connectivity, convenient access to community destinations, and more shared mobility options for residents - legislation was required so that each city and the county could determine how and where NEVs may operate in their jurisdiction.

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