The reality of climate change means we need to invest in the infrastructure that will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. And one of these ways is moving to electric vehicles. One of the biggest challenges is creating the electric vehicle fast-charging network to reduce range anxiety and increase uptake of electric vehicles. This is especially true of those living in areas where a permanent charging set-up at home is impractical because it is in a multifamily unit or there is no garage or carport available.
Fortunately, a non-profit company, Corridor Power, approached the City years ago to set up a demonstration project for fast-charging electing vehicles, thereby promoting the spread of EV charging infrastructure. The company attained a state grant form the California Energy Commission to help cover the cost of construction, which includes a battery storage facility for solar power generated from the driver’s lounge roof paels. As part of the negotiations, Corridor Power has offered free EV fast charging to all Encinitas residents, City vehicles and City staff for the period of the three-year grant. After three years the city and Corridor Power will need to review their conditions and how to move forward.
Of the 25 parking spaces at the City Hall lower lot, 17 will be leased to Corridor Power — 7 for the driver’s lounge and 10 for EV charging — for a total of 57,432 over the three year lease. These spots can be used as regular parking spots while not in use to charge EVs and a full time attendant will make sure that double parking and valet service maximizes accessibility and parking for all users. In addition to the 10 EV car chargers, there will be 20 e-bike chargers. The driver’s lounge can be used as a information point for Encinitas activities, branding and goods and services. During special events, Corridor Power has agreed to halt services to allow for maximum parking.
On the agenda for Wednesday was the licensing agreement for the lower City Hall parking lot. These operations have already been approved by the Planning Commission, but many of the components of the licensing were missing from the agreement, such as the free charging for Encinitas residents, City vehicles and City staff; branding of the driver’s lounge; number of special events; transition of the battery storage after the lease; and escalating remedies should there be any breach of contract. Ultimately Council approved unanimously the EV Fast-Charging station and created a subcommittee of the Mayor and myself to ensure that all of these important aspects are included in the licensing agreement.