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Energy and Climate Change

Regional Electric Vehicle Charging Program

Electric vehicles, along with other zero emission vehicles, are playing a major role in how countries, states, and local governments plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve local air quality, and reduce petroleum dependence.

Through a $600,000 planning grant from Caltrans, SANDAG is developing a regional incentive program for EV charging infrastructure to expand charging opportunities for EV drivers. The grant period is from January 2018 to June 2020, with the anticipated launch date for the incentive program in mid-2020.

Through the grant, SANDAG will identify programmatic best practices and develop a detailed framework for a new Regional Electric Vehicle Charging Program (EVCP) that will support the purchase and installation of shared public and workplace  EV chargers.

This project will identify program administration options, eligible technologies, incentive amounts, participation guidelines, reporting methods, and outreach approaches. Throughout the project, SANDAG will seek input from local governments and public agencies, businesses and industry, other stakeholders and the public to inform the process.

Project Updates

SANDAG is working with the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) to join what could have been two independent efforts to develop regional EV charger incentive programs into one, joint program for public and workplace Level 2 EV chargers. Similarly, SANDAG has been coordinating with the California Energy Commission to bring state funds for Level 2 and DC fast chargers to the San Diego region. The Energy Commission has designated San Diego County as one of several proposed new regions to receive California Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project (CALeVIP) funding in 2020. There will be a CALeVIP workshop at SANDAG on August 27, 2019, for all interested stakeholders. SANDAG seeks to partner with these organizations in order to establish a unified EV charging station incentive program for the San Diego region.

In addition to program collaboration activities, the first phase of the grant project was to conduct a review of best practices from existing charger incentive programs and policies to help inform design of the Regional EV Charging Program. The Summary Report on Existing Electric Vehicle Charger Incentive Programs in the United States reviews over 35 charger incentive programs in terms of program scope, administration, eligible technologies, participation criteria, incentive levels, program metrics, and additional measures.

The Summary Review of Policies to Guide Program Development reviews critical federal policies such as the federal vehicle emissions standards and tax credit; state policies from the California Air Resources Board, California Energy Commission and Caltrans; regional policies including the Regional Energy Strategy and The Regional Plan; and local climate action plans.

SANDAG is in the process of developing a bold new transportation vision for the region with 5 Big Moves: Complete Corridors, Transit Leap, Mobility Hubs, Flexible Fleets, and Next Operating System. Transportation electrification comprises a key strategy in SANDAG’s plan to enhance connectivity, increase safety and sustainability, and improve quality of life in the San Diego area. The Regional Electric Vehicle Charging Program supports this vision by incentivizing the charging infrastructure needed to fuel regional EV growth.

Staff Reports and Presentations:

Supporting Tools and Resources:

The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) released 3 EV charger permit streamlining resources in July 2019:

  1. EV Charging Station Permitting Guidebook, in support of implementing AB1236, which established permitting process and communications requirements for cities and counties.
  2. Permitting Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Scorecard that local governments can use to rate how “EV Charging Station Permit Ready” their community is (Green, Yellow, Red).  The scorecard includes resources after the checklist to help with complying with AB1236. 
  3. Electric Vehicle Charging Station Permit Streamlining Map which will visually show which jurisdictions are EVCS Permit Ready.

SANDAG’s Plug-in San Diego project recently ended but included resources in support of EV charging in the region.


With adoption of San Diego Forward: The Regional Plan and its Sustainable Communities Strategy in 2015, the SANDAG Board of Directors committed its support to building out a network of publicly accessible EV charging infrastructure throughout the region.

The Regional Plan Environmental Impact Report solidified SANDAG’s commitment through greenhouse gas mitigation measure 4C. The measure states that SANDAG will allocate $30 million over 30 years for charging infrastructure and that a regional incentive program will be established by 2020 to promote and increase publicly accessible EV charging infrastructure.

Project Manager

Susan Freedman, Senior Regional Energy Planner
Phone: (619) 699-7387, Email:

For media inquiries, please contact the SANDAG Public Information Office at (619) 699-1950 or