LOS ANGELES --- Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Dec. 1 announced the Southern California Regional Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Plan at the LA Auto Show.

The plan calls for cities, utilities, automakers and others in the Southern California region to collaborate in building the necessary infrastructure for the commercial launch of electric vehicles, which is scheduled for the fall of 2010. 

"The state of California has the highest ratio of car ownership anywhere in the world, and in Los Angeles, almost 50 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions come from the transportation sector. If we are to be at the forefront of tackling climate change, reducing emissions from the automobile must be front and center," Villaraigosa said. "With today's announcement, we are transforming the L.A. region into the capital of the electric car and we will prime our region to be plug-in ready by the fall of 2010. This will improve air quality, reduce green house gas emissions, reduce our reliance on imported oil, and spur green economic development with good green jobs." 

The regional collaborative group currently includes Southern California Edison, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Southern California Public Power Authority, California Electric Transportation Coalition, Electric Research Power Institute, Southern California AQMD, Nissan, GM, Ford, and the cities of Burbank, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Santa Ana and Santa Monica.

The collaborative Electric Vehicle Plug-In Readiness Plan has the following eight objectives:

1. Collaborate to help educate customers and stakeholders, highlighting the environmental benefits of electric transportation, the benefits of electricity as an alternative fuel, the creation of public-access charging infrastructure, and the steps customers need to take to get plug-in ready.

2. Collaborate and share information to prepare the L.A. Region for adoption of PEVs as a major market for the automotive industry, apply for or administer grant funding for the region, and implement best practices to support the deployment and use of PEVs.

3. Collaborate on charging infrastructure deployment including: working with funding agencies to upgrade the existing charging infrastructure, adding new infrastructure locations, and identifying charging solutions for multi-unit dwelling and workplace charging situations.

4. Cities will work with stakeholders to develop and/or support purchase and ownership incentives (monetary/non-monetary) for both vehicles and infrastructure, including tax rebates for vehicles and charging installations, preferential and/or free parking at city meters, key parking locations, and community venues.

5. Cities will work to streamline the process for installation of new charging infrastructure including local city permitting and inspections.

6. Cities will review and revise, where appropriate, local city building codes, standards, ordinances, etc. to help encourage adoption of PEVs.

7. Utilities will develop a robust and streamlined customer service process that can scale up to support large numbers of plug-in vehicle customer service requests ranging from charging infrastructure installations to utility-specific rate options and programs.

8. Cities and utilities will collaborate on fleet acquisition plans, helping drive deployment of electric transportation solutions in light, medium and heavy-duty applications in accordance with operational and emergency response needs. 

Along with the plug-in ready plan, the mayor announced a number of incentives that would be offered. They include:

  • Home Charger Early Adapter Incentive Program to subsidize the installation up to $2,000 for the first 5,000 residential customers.
  • Off-peak electrical charging rate of 8.5 cents per kWh (6pm to 2am).
  • City and state incentives including, but not limited to, preferred and/or free parking, high occupancy lanes.
  • Upgrading the 400 existing public charging sites within one year of the adoption of a new federally approved charging standard.
  • Implementing a streamlined process for the installation of home charging units in the city of Los Angeles.

At the press conference, Villaraigosa was joined by City Council President Eric Garcetti and Councilwoman Jan Perry, chairwoman of the Los Angeles City Council's Energy and Environment Committee and a board member of the South Coast Air Quality Management District. Both of them drive electric vehicles.