Electric Vehicles, Shift Plan

Electric Vehicles (EVs) using renewable power can nearly eliminate the pollution associated with driving. They are fun to drive, easy to maintain, quiet, and cheaper to fuel than gas or diesel vehicles. EVs can also help operate a clean and reliable utility grid.

Electric vehicles powered with clean renewable energy represent a huge opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation while keeping money spent on fuel in the local economy, reducing pollution, and saving drivers money. EV technologies are commercially viable and the infrastructure needed to use electricity as transportation fuel is mostly in place in the form of the existing electricity grid (in contrast with hydrogen, which holds great promise as a transportation fuel but requires entirely new distribution infrastructure).

Priority Actions (Electric Vehicles)

Planning

1. Evaluate Sonoma County drivers’ habits and attitudes about electric vehicles.
2. Develop a strategy to increase EVs in municipal fleets.
3. Maintain a municipal fleet database and track metrics of performance.

The Shift EV Fleet Guide can help inform decision making about EVs and fleets. More info: scta.ca.gov/shift

Policy

4. Establish a countywide goal of 100,000 EVs by 2030.
5. Establish consistency in local government policies in Sonoma County to support electric vehicle adoption.

The Shift EV Policy Toolkit provides a template for local policy consideration. More info: scta.ca.gov/shift

6. Incorporate EV readiness policies into general plans
7. Establish EV purchasing policy that directs the jurisdiction to purchase EVs for fleet applications compatible with EVs.

Coordination

8. Participate in regional and state collaborations to share knowledge on EV technology and policy
9. Continue to convene and participate in the Sonoma County Local Government EV Partnership to collaborate on policies and programs.
10. Create and convene a public EV Coordinating Council for Sonoma County.

Deployment

11. Lead by example by incorporating EVs into local government fleets.
12. Implement “electric first” guidelines when purchasing vehicles.
13. Deploy EVs into transit fleets.
14. Leverage fleet purchasing power and participate in bulk procurement initiatives.
15. Promote and expand local incentive programs such as Sonoma Clean Power’s Drive EverGreen and the Northern Sonoma County Air Pollution Control District’s 3-2-1 Go Green!

Education and Awareness

16. Create an EV ombudsman service for Sonoma County.
17. Create a local EV knowledge base and website.
18. Increase knowledge of EVs and local opportunities through local government trainings.
19. Increase community awareness of EVs by leading or supporting Ride and Drive events.
20. Coordinate with local car dealers.

Co-benefits

Electric vehicles have many benefits over combustion vehicles. They are:

» Great to drive. EVs are typically quick to accelerate, compared to conventional cars, and nearly silent to operate.
» Healthier. Compared to combustion vehicles, EVs make it easier for residents to breathe by eliminating nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and toxic air contaminants that cause significant local human health risks.
» Better for the environment. In Sonoma County, switching to an EV represents a 98% reduction in greenhouse gas reduction when using 100% renewable energy (available to all residents through Sonoma Clean Power’s EverGreen option). Even considering the embedded energy from producing the car, EVs are better for the environment than gas cars over their lifetime.
» Cheaper to operate. Charging an EV typically costs $500/year, compared to a gas car that can cost $1,500 to $2,400 to fuel every year (depending on fuel efficiency and gas prices). EVs also have fewer maintenance costs, with most drivers only needing to replace tires and windshield wipers as needed.
» Ready for the future. As electric vehicles mature, it could be possible to integrate your vehicle with the electric grid to time your charging with the cleanest power available, as well as to provide power when there are disruptions to the grid.

Resources

Drive EverGreen, from Sonoma Clean Power

3-2-1 Go Green, from the Northern Sonoma County Air Pollution Control District

Disclaimer

The work upon which this publication is based was funded in whole or in part through a grant awarded by the California Strategic Growth Council.

The statements and conclusions of this report are those of the SCTA/RCPA and/or Subcontractor and not necessarily those of the California Strategic Growth Council or of the California Department of Conservation, or its employees. The California Strategic Growth Council and the California Department of Conservation make no warranties, express or implied, and assume no liability for the information contained in the succeeding text.