City of Santa Monica

Staff Report

Electric Vehicle Action Plan


Department:Public Works, Office of Sustainability & EnvironmentSponsors:
Category:08. Administrative Item

Recommended Action

Recommended Action

Staff recommends that City Council:

1.     Review the Electric Vehicle Action Plan.

2.     Approve the Resolution adopting the Electric Vehicle Action Plan to aim for 15% of single-occupancy vehicles to be electric by 2025.

3.     Approve, in concept, charging a cost recovery fee for Electric Vehicle charging so that staff can proceed with analysis, internal coordination and community engagement.

Staff Report Body

Executive Summary

Sixty-four percent of Santa Monica’s greenhouse gas emissions are generated from vehicle transportation. In order to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 or sooner, reducing vehicle emissions through electrification is needed. Council’s strategic objective for a new model of mobility calls for an integrated transportation strategy that supports walk- and bike-friendly neighborhoods, complete streets and easy access to transit boulevards. Vehicle electrification works with these mobility strategies to help reach community sustainability and emission reduction goals in the Sustainable City Plan and Climate Action & Adaptation Plan. The Electric Vehicle Action Plan (EVAP) aims for 15% of single-occupancy vehicles to be electric by 2025. This would reduce emissions by nearly 26,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.


Achieving a meaningful shift in vehicle fuel will require an expanded EV charging network to meet charging needs. Cities around the world are grappling with how best to expand EV charging infrastructure to meet growing demand. The Electric Vehicle Action Plan (EVAP) was developed to consolidate various efforts throughout the City and facilitate electric vehicle adoption through policies, programs and pilot projects. The EVAP includes a short-term goal of 300 public charging ports citywide by 2020 and a long-term goal of 1,000 charging ports by 2025.


This report summarizes the key policies of the EVAP. The report also outlines proposed expenditures for shovel-ready projects, short-term goals, and ongoing operations.


Staff estimates the cost to complete all infrastructure improvements outlined in the EVAP is approximately $2.42 million in infrastructure costs over three years, with net new costs at $1.46 million. Approximately $953,734 in funds has already been committed or is available to be allocated. Staff estimate annual operating costs up to $458,076, depending on the electricity usage, maintenance and service needs of the charging equipment. Staff will return to Council with specific budget actions that will be required in the future for implementation of the EVAP.



On November 8, 2011, Council held a study session on electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure. Staff presented the challenges to accommodating EV charging for residents, visitors and employees as well as the pending installations of charging infrastructure. Council provided guidance to staff to investigate ways to expand EV infrastructure in Santa Monica with a focus on providing EV charging options for residents of multi-family housing.


Since then, the City has expanded its public charging infrastructure from 20 charging ports to 89 throughout the city. On July 25, 2017, Council approved the selection of ChargePoint to provide 16 charging stations (31 ports) at the Civic Center Parking Structure for fleet charging and authorized staff to proceed with Southern California Edison’s Charge Ready pilot program. There are various installations underway that will bring the City’s total count of public charging ports to over 100 before the end of 2017.



Environmental Impact

The State of California has several goals that will continue to incentivize electric vehicle (EV) adoption:

·         Reduce carbon intensity of vehicle fuels by 10% by 2020

·         Increase EV ownership to 1.5 million by 2025

·         Increase EV sales to 15% of all new vehicle sales by 2025

·         Reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2030


Electric vehicles play an important role in reducing carbon emissions, improving air quality, and reducing noise pollution. Increasing electric vehicles will support the zero emission vehicle goal within the Sustainable City Plan and the emissions reduction goal in the forthcoming Climate Action & Adaptation Plan. The Sustainable City Plan has goals to increase clean air vehicles as a percentage of total vehicle ownership annually. Increasing electric vehicles will also support the Health dimension of the Wellbeing Index. According to the American Lung Association (ALA), health and climate costs caused by internal combustion engine vehicles totaled $37 billion across 10 states in 2015. The ALA estimates that combined health and climate benefits from a 100% EV scenario in California could reach $13.5 billion by 2050. These benefits include:

·         Fewer asthma attacks, lost work days, premature deaths, heart attacks and emergency room visits as the result of cleaner air

·         Reduced carbon emissions: EVs powered by electricity from the local grid produce 54% less lifetime carbon pollution than gasoline cars (Plug In America, 2016)

·         Reduced emissions that generate ozone and particulate matter


In addition, there are significant economic benefits available to EV drivers, utility companies and the local economy:

·         Lower maintenance costs due to fewer parts (e.g., no engine or transmission)

·         Estimated fuel savings of more than $3,500 over the lifetime of the vehicle if gas prices fall to $2.50/gallon; savings would be closer to $9,000 if gas prices are $3.50/gallon (Plug In America, 2016)

·         Savings from fuel costs and maintenance can be invested back into the local economy

·         Increased off-peak energy sales, which could reduce electricity rates for utility customers

·         Potential electric grid benefits through vehicle-to-grid integration (through properly timed charging or discharging of energy as needed by the utility grid)

·         Reduced costs for road repair and maintenance


State agencies and electric utilities are providing incentives through rebates and subsidized infrastructure to promote EV ownership and EV charging.


Hierarchy of Mobility

EVs exist within a larger framework of mobility and goals to improve roadway safety, equity and access. The diagram below shows the role of zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) within a comprehensive view of mobility. Active modes of walking, biking and low-emission transit provide sustainable, equitable and cost-effective options for mobility. They are among the modes that people use most often throughout their lifetimes. Shared mobility including casual carpooling, vanpooling, paid shared rides and ride services also meet crucial needs, and should increasingly be encouraged to be provided in electric and shared vehicles.


ZEVs should be the choice when people drive. Single occupancy fossil-fuel vehicles should be the option of last resort. Whether ZEV or non-ZEV, single occupancy vehicles (SOVs) come after walking, biking, low-emission transit and shared mobility services when it comes to improving mobility options and reducing traffic and congestion.



Hierarchy of Mobility





Background to the Plan

EVs and hybrid EVs represent approximately 2% of all vehicles owned in Santa Monica. Within less than 10 years, the percentage of EV drivers is anticipated to quadruple. When viewed geographically, there is a greater proportion of EV ownership and private EV charging station installation in single-family residential neighborhoods than in multifamily neighborhoods.


The figure below shows the disproportionately high levels of EV ownership in the primarily single-family neighborhoods compared to neighborhoods with higher concentrations of multifamily dwellings. This is due to the many obstacles including lack of understanding of the technology, real and perceived financial, cultural or ownership barriers, and lack of available charging infrastructure.


Plug-in Electric Vehicle Registrations (2010-2016)




For many EV owners and would-be owners, the need for charging is immediate. Dedicated EV drivers who cannot charge at home resort to using public infrastructure at all hours, planning their schedules around charging. Others have resorted to using extension cords that often run from building windows or garages across the public right-of-way.


Providing, operating and maintaining a comprehensive system of EV charging stations necessary to facilitate and support EV ownership is a significant undertaking. To date the installation of EV charging stations in Santa Monica has been largely unplanned and was funded through grants or pilot programs from utility programs, EV charging station manufacturers, and universities as they became available.  The City’s existing EV charging stations are of various makes, models and vintages and are not equipped to provide for remote operation or analysis of operational status, site availability, or energy usage. 


Currently all charging stations in Santa Monica are free for anyone to use and none of the charging stations are equipped with technology that can charge fees for time, electricity or overstay penalties. The City’s Public Works Street and Fleet Maintenance Division currently oversee maintenance of the EV charging station system on an as needed basis. With the recent increase in EV ownership in Santa Monica, and the expected significant future growth in that market, a comprehensive strategy is required to thoughtfully expand, operate and maintain the EV infrastructure with balanced policies and community outreach.


Many states, regions and a few cities have EV Readiness Plans, which identify policies and programs, and sets aspirational goals for EV infrastructure but most typically do not have budgets or implementation plans. The cities of Vancouver and Aspen recently adopted EV Strategies, which are more action-oriented than Readiness Plans, but still lack budgets and comprehensive infrastructure plans. The City of Los Angeles recently adopted a $1.1 million Infrastructure Plan to deploy 134 charging stations around City Hall and through streetlights; however this plan is not coupled with policy and outreach measures.


EV Action Plan

The EV Action Plan (EVAP) provides this comprehensive strategy to grow the EV infrastructure system in Santa Monica to accommodate growing demand for EV charging and to achieve local, regional and state greenhouse gas reduction goals by expanding public EV infrastructure and supporting private EV charging. The EVAP has a goal to add approximately 200 public charging ports to the existing network by 2020 with a long-term goal of 1,000 public charging ports by 2025.


City staff and consultants developed the EVAP with significant input and coordination with local community stakeholders, EV charging companies, Southern California Edison, state agencies and other local governments. The UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation provided data analyses to help identify service gaps and advise on EV incentives. Additionally, staff engaged local stakeholders and industry experts at the City’s annual AltCar Expo in 2016 and 2017, and considerable input and feedback was provided by Drive Clean Santa Monica, which consists of residents who were early EV adopters and advocates.


The EVAP includes:

·         Background on EVs and EV charging in California and Santa Monica

·         A review of existing policies, programs and resources to support charging infrastructure on a state and regional level

·         Recommended policy priorities to address current barriers to EV charging and EV use

·         An implementation plan for all policy priorities that will require collaboration between various City departments and divisions, Southern California Edison, any future electric vehicle charging service provider(s) selected by the City and community stakeholders

·         Appendices with resources including maps on current and proposed EV charging infrastructure and detailed material on multifamily unit dwelling (MUD) installation case studies and best practices


The EVAP acknowledges the challenges faced by the majority of residents who live in aging multifamily buildings as well as identifies numerous outside sources of funding that can be leveraged to support the City’s efforts to expand its EV infrastructure and services from the utilities, regional, state and federal sources (Attachment C - EV Funding Resources). The EVAP emphasizes the need to support private charging while also expanding public charging infrastructure.


The EVAP identifies four areas that must be addressed in order to significantly scale the adoption of EVs in Santa Monica and surrounding areas and includes recommended actions for each priority. These four areas are:

1.     Public Infrastructure

2.     Private Charging

3.     Public Policy

4.     Community Outreach


Below is a summary of the priorities and actions for each area.


Public Infrastructure: Expand and modernize public EV infrastructure to improve user experience and sustain operations.

a.     Add new smart charging stations to the network; retrofit or replace legacy charging stations with “smart” charging stations.

b.     Develop a fee structure that recovers operations and maintenance costs and supports community EV programs.

c.      Earn credit revenue by participating in the state Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program.

d.     Add charging stations for City fleet facilities.

e.     Explore innovative EV charging technologies to integrate into Santa Monica’s EV charging network.

f.        Explore fast charging options (480V) where appropriate and feasible.

g.     Develop guidelines and standards to support charging for e-bicycles and neighborhood electric vehicles.


Private Charging: Increase EV Charging for Multi-Unit Dwellings (MUDs) and workplaces.

a.     Develop a City-funded pilot rebate program for multifamily charging to help property owners and residents install charging stations; include additional funding for low-income residents.

b.     Identify qualified vendors to handle MUD and workplace charging in Santa Monica.

c.      Streamline the permitting process and allow online permits for small-scale installations.

d.     Designate off-street and on-street locations for public charging infrastructure.

e.     Implement a pilot program to provide EV charging through streetlights.

  1. Partner with priority destination sites to install EV charging (e.g. privately owned sites with large parking areas that serve multiple uses, such as grocery centers).


Public Policy: Update parking and charging policies and practices to facilitate efficient charging access and station use.

a.     Modify City ordinance to allow on-street EV charging.

b.     Update zoning ordinance requirements to increase the parking spaces available for EV charging.

c.      Review and update parking policies and signage for public EV charging locations.

d.     Explore a program to adjust nighttime parking rates or provide resident charging permits for overnight charging at public facilities.

e.     Expand use of EVs in carshare and rideshare services.

f.        Expand the fleet-sharing system for all city departments and divisions located at the Civic Center.

Community Outreach: Develop EV outreach programs and resources for residents and businesses.

a.     Create a webpage with available resources, programs and technologies.

b.     Develop an outreach program for EV charging stations similar to the Solar Santa Monica Program called EV Santa Monica.

c.      Develop outreach targeted to low-income residents.

d.     Encourage access to EV carsharing services for low-income individuals. 

e.     Designate an EV Program Coordinator to manage all responsibilities related to EV infrastructure coordination and implementation.

f.        Establish an EV Working Group to provide direction and oversight of the implementation of the EV Action Plan.

g.     Coordinate with regional partners to leverage procurement and funding opportunities.


Below is an overview of several key recommendations that warrant further description and analysis.



Expanding Public EV Charging Infrastructure

The EVAP includes a three-year infrastructure program that would nearly quadruple the number of public EV charging ports available, as summarized below in Table 1. Once all projects are completed, the expansion would yield a total 287 public charging ports throughout the city.

Table 1: Proposed 3-Year Infrastructure Plan

Project Phase

Total  Ports

IA: Civic Center Fleet Charging


IB: 2017 Installations


II: 2018 Off-street  (Libraries, Parks, Lots)


IIIA: 2018-2020 Curbside Stations


IIIB: 2018-2020 Streetlight Stations


IIIC: 2018-2020 Public-Private Partnerships


IIID: 2018-2020 DC Fast Charging Stations


IV: Retrofit existing stations (ongoing)


TOTAL Public Charging Stations






Phase IA: Civic Center Fleet Charging

The City is participating in Southern California Edison’s (SCE) Charge Ready pilot program. Charge Ready offers site hosts the opportunity to receive free electrical infrastructure to support a minimum of 10 charging spaces. Staff identified the Civic Center Parking Structure as the best candidate to receive charging infrastructure for fleet charging. This site was chosen due to the program requirements for parking capacity, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) access and fleet charging demand. The new charging stations to be procured under the Charge Ready program must comply with SCE’s requirements for networked communication systems. This implication will be discussed in a later section of this report. Staff anticipates that the charging stations will be installed and operational by the end of 2017.


Phase IB: 2017 Installations

Thirty new charging ports are pending installation at various parking lots and structures across Santa Monica at various stages of development. These charging stations are expected to be operational before the end of 2017 (locations are shown below in Table 2). The pending installations are capable of communications, remote monitoring/control and charging fees for use and encouraging turnover; however these systems would need to be activated and managed by the City or a third-party provider.


Table 2: Pending Installations of New Charging Stations



Charging Stations

Total Available Ports


Parking Lot 7

1217 Euclid St



In design

Parking Lot 8

1146 16th St



In design

Parking Lot 9

2725 Neilson Way



In design

Parking Lot 10

2675 Neilson Way



In design

Parking Lot 26

2303 Neilson Way



In design

Main Library

601 Santa Monica Blvd



In design

Annenberg Beach House

415 Pacific Coast Hwy



In design

Civic Center Parking Structure (Fleet charging)

333 Civic Center Drive





In design, pending City action








Phase II: Off-street

Phase II focuses on placing EV charging stations near existing electrical service and adding parking capacity in public off-street locations, primarily at parks and libraries. The EVAP recommends that smart charging stations, be installed in these locations to allow for the stations to be remotely turned on and off to be consistent with each site’s operating hours.


Phases III A & B

On-street, or curbside, locations could help bring EV charging to neighborhoods that are not readily served by existing public parking lots. Curbside charging offers an opportunity for the City to evenly distribute charging infrastructure in residential neighborhoods.


Staff reviewed parking inventory and identified on-street parking with perpendicular or diagonal spaces, in addition to spaces at parking meters with low-utilization rates. These spaces could offer greater efficiencies through the use of dual-port charging stations, which can serve two adjacent parking spaces. Locations recommended for on-street charging will need to fully consider all roadway demands including future bike and pedestrian facilities, preferential parking, potential lost parking revenue and property access needs. Implementing a fee schedule to charge for electricity and parking could help recoup revenue previously earned from non-EV parking. Staff will analyze charging patterns before returning to Council with a recommended fee schedule.


Streetlights may also provide an opportunity to help limit additional congestion of equipment in the parkways and sidewalks. When converted to energy-efficient LED lighting, streetlight circuits generate excess electrical capacity that can potentially be utilized for EV charging directly via streetlight poles. Staff have identified potential locations for streetlight charging and will continue to work with SCE to determine their feasibility.


Phase IIIC: Public-Private Partnerships

Staff have identified several private parking sites that are considered priority destinations within the community. These sites offer a large inventory of parking for multiple retail uses like grocery stores and restaurants. Staff will engage with various property owners to facilitate installation of EV charging for public use.



Phase IIID: DC Fast Charging Stations

Direct current (DC) fast charging stations are capable of fully charging vehicles in a fraction of the time (approximately 30 minutes) required by standard EV chargers. Locating fast charging stations require more space for electrical infrastructure and should consider local neighborhood impacts. Staff will evaluate locations and owner-operator relationships to reduce implementation and operational burdens on the City.


Phase IV: Retrofit Existing Stations (ongoing)

The City has 89 charging ports available at 71 charging stations (53 single-ports and 18 dual ports). The majority of charging stations are located in City-owned parking structures and surface lots; however, two charging stations are located on-street at Montana Ave. Seven dual-port charging stations at the Civic Center Structure were provided by UCLA through a research project. A complete list of publicly available EV charging stations and their locations is provided below in Table 3. (Note: The EV ARC solar charging station (2 ports), recently procured in October 2017, is not included in the total number of existing stations to retrofit because it is a unique, new station that will not require a retrofit in the near future.)


All stations experience a high amount of usage, and staff regularly receive requests to add more charging stations. City staff are currently responsible for maintenance, operation, repair and replacement of existing stations.


The City’s existing stations are of various makes, models and vintages, which inhibits the City’s ability to develop a robust network, maximize functionality and provide a uniform experience for users. The EVAP includes a recommendation to retrofit and upgrade 70 of the City’s existing charging stations (87 charging ports) with smart charging technology and establish a uniform model of technology and service across the city.


Based on the significant public input received, the installation of new charging stations at new sites has been prioritized in the EVAP over replacing the existing charging stations. The full conversion of existing charging stations to smart charging stations would likely be completed by 2022. There are some sites that may benefit from replacement sooner due to the high demand such as the charging stations on Montana Ave. and Virginia Avenue Park.


Table 3: Existing Charging Stations


Street Address

Dual-port Stations

Single-port Stations

Total Available Ports

Civic Solar Port

1685 Main St




Civic Parking Structure

333 Civic Center Dr




Santa Monica Pier

200 Santa Monica Pier




Santa Monica Place
Parking Structure 7

395 S Santa Monica Place




11th & Montana

1101 Montana Blvd




Virginia Avenue Park

2200 Virginia Ave (Pico Blvd side)




Virginia Avenue Park

2200 Virginia Ave (Virginia Ave side)




Santa Monica Airport

3223 Donald Douglas Loop South




Parking Structure 6

1431 2nd St




Parking Lot 11

2501 Neilson Way




Parking Lot 9

2901 Neilson Way




Parking Structure 9*

1136 4th St




5th St Lot

5th St & Santa Monica Blvd









*Parking Structure 9 will likely be operational by the end of November 2017.


Newer “smart” charging stations would provide increased functionality and operational sustainability. These functions include:

·         Remote monitoring and reporting

·         Managed charging

·         User communication

·         Cost recovery – charge fees for time, electricity, and/or overstay penalty

·         Energy tracking

·         Malfunction/Repair notification

·         Low Carbon Fuel Standard participation


By retrofitting the existing stations, the City would be able to offer a uniform experience and work with a single EV service provider that could manage the infrastructure, customer service, equipment maintenance and revenue accounting.


Additionally, the City would be able to better manage efficient use of charging stations by communicating with users when their allotted time or charging needs are completed. Smart charging stations also have the capability to assess additional fees to incentivize turnover once charging is complete or when the parking limit has been reached. Additionally, as charging infrastructure grows, the City will need to be able to remotely monitor the status of each charging station to track repair and maintenance issues.

Proposed 3-yr Infrastructure Map



Charging as a Service Model

As previously mentioned, the City owns all of the existing public charging stations and is therefore responsible for their maintenance and upkeep. The existing charging stations lack networked communication systems that could enable citywide portfolio management of each charging station, including tracking usage, outages, reporting and communications to users.


Over the years, EV service providers have developed service models that include customer service, maintenance and repair, transaction and network services and carbon credit management (discussed later). These services enhance the experiences of the user and site host, while reducing the risks and burden of owning and operating the equipment outright.


The EVAP recommends implementing a service model so that the EV service provider bears the greater portion of the risk and responsibility of operations, maintenance and repair.


Evaluate Parking Policies

Santa Monica is one of four cities in California that still offers free parking for EVs, and one of only two cities that allows both battery EVs and plug-in hybrid EVs (green decal holders) to park for free. Once additional public charging infrastructure and incentives are implemented, it may be beneficial to explore alternative benefits to the metered parking privileges for EV drivers. While EVs provide environmental and community benefits by reducing pollution and noise, it is important to recognize that EVs still contribute to congestion and traffic just like any other vehicle.


For illustrative purposes, staff estimated that the City could be forgoing approximately $558,000 in annual revenue by providing free metered parking to EV drivers. As EV ownership continues to increase, this loss in revenue is anticipated to grow to approximately $1.8 million by 2021.[1] A policy change could provide a sustainable source of revenue to support additional EV infrastructure, programs and resources.


Table 4: Estimated Loss in Metered Parking Revenue

(Illustrative Example)


Cumulative EV Purchases (Predicted)

EV Purchases Growth Rate

Estimated Lost Annual Meter Revenue


























Designate an EV Program Coordinator Position and create an EV Outreach Program

EV charging is a relatively simple process; however, the task of installing and operating an EV charging system is very complex and expensive. Most sites and buildings were never designed to support EV charging from a design and electrical standpoint. SCE has also not yet prepared its utility grid to embrace the significant increase in solar energy, energy storage and EV charging that is anticipated in the near future. EV charging projects can take several months to years to complete if they require upgrades and installation of utility lines, poles, transformers, conduits, building-level transformers, electrical panels and new parking facilities (grading, striping, bollards, and signs).


Operating an EV charging system is similar to running a moderate-sized business operation or utility. There are many departments and divisions that are involved with planning, permitting, operating and maintaining EV charging infrastructure in Santa Monica. However, none are solely responsible for overseeing the EV charging system. This provides challenges for resources, funding and coordination. The EVAP recommends designating an EV Program Coordinator to oversee implementation of the plan. Similar to the Breeze Bike Share program, the City’s growing network of EV charging stations will need diligent planning, operations and management in order to operate successfully.


Additionally, there is and will continue to be strong public demand for information, education and technical assistance. There are many programs, funding and technologies available with many more pending. This confusing landscape requires a local liaison to serve as a clearinghouse of information and resources.


By establishing a single point of contact, staff can be more effective in developing and managing projects, conducting outreach to the community and implementing City policies.


Potential Sources of EV Program Revenues

Santa Monica’s free charging network provided much needed support for the early-adopter community. Now almost 20 years later, the growth in EV ownership and the demand for EV charging requires the City to re-evaluate its services and the sustainability and expansion of EV infrastructure.


Staff recommend implementing cost recovery, or charging a user fee for EV charging. Cost recovery is a best management practice that provides several valuable functions, which are currently not available to the City with the existing infrastructure. Cost recovery would enable the City to:

·         Offset operational costs for electricity, network/transaction services, maintenance and repair or replacement

·         Enforce occupant turnover by charging higher fees beyond the allowable time limit

·         Recover a portion of capital costs for infrastructure purchase and installation

Replacing the City’s existing charging stations with new smart charging stations that would enable staff to collect and analyze data that could be used to inform an appropriate fee schedule.


The EVAP recommends that the fee schedule should:

·         Incentivize EV driving compared to fossil-fuel vehicles

·         Remain lower than the cost of gas

·         Account for the different charging capacity and speed of different types of vehicles

·         Discourage ‘accessory charging’ or unnecessary charging, especially if home charging is available to the EV driver

·         Encourage drivers to vacate the charging space when charging or parking limits have been reached

·         Incentivize off-peak charging to mitigate the impacts of charging on the utility grid


Table 5 shows that the majority of California public agencies charge fees for electric vehicle charging, and the majority of fees are based per kWh.


Table 5. Common Fee Schedules in California

Public Agencies


Los Angeles region

(LA & Ventura County)

Providing EV charging



Charge a fee



Most common fee breakdown

Per hour





Per kWh











Total captured*




*Fees not captured were higher or lower than what is shown, but were less significant in occurrence
Source: Alternative Fuel Data Center, Department of Energy


Feedback received during the development of the plan strongly supported keeping EV charging free or at least very low cost to continue incentivizing new EV drivers. As the City’s network is not robust enough to accurately estimate basic operating costs, staff recommend Council approve, in concept, charging a fee so that staff can proceed with analysis, internal coordination and community engagement. Staff will return to Council with a recommended initial fee after 25 public smart charging stations have been installed and operating for 90 days. Once new smart stations are installed, staff will be able to analyze station usage and behavior to inform an appropriate fee schedule.


Establishing a fee schedule would be a strategic and continuous process, subject to community input, usage, utility rates, demand charges, and other factors. Penalty fines for overstaying in EV charging spaces could be implemented immediately to enforce turnover. Station usage, operating costs and revenues could be reviewed at regular intervals and recommendations would be made as needed to adjust fees if necessary.


Process for Establishing a Fee Schedule




Another potential source of revenue to offset costs to build and operate the EV charging system is the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) credit, which is administered by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The LCFS provides a credit trading system similar to cap-and-trade for vehicle fuels. Low carbon fuels like hydrogen, renewable diesel or natural gas, and electricity generate a monetary value for the ‘fuel provider.’


With the City’s current number of charging stations and using charging data from smart charging stations, staff estimates this could generate approximately $35,000 in annual revenue to the City once at least 200 smart charging stations have been installed. The existing non-networked (“dumb”) charging stations cannot earn LCFS revenue because they cannot track energy usage to send to CARB. The value of LCFS is based on the volume of fuel provided and the current market rate that carbon-intensive fuel providers are willing to pay. This revenue could be utilized to subsidize fees at public charging stations.


Advertising is another potential source of revenue that could be used to offset system costs. Most new EV charging equipment features display screens, which can feature ads or City-sponsored messages. For example, the cost of the Breeze Bikeshare system is offset by the advertising partnership with Hulu. As with Breeze, any decisions on the potential for advertising on EV charging equipment would require City Council approval.


Any or all of the potential revenue sources described above could be utilized to fund new infrastructure and EV community programs and keep operational costs low for users.


Local Rebate for Private EV Charging

While there are many sources of funding that are available and planned, there may be challenges for small property owners and lower-income individuals to be able to take advantage of these resources due to upfront costs or eligibility requirements. Several state and regional programs such as the CARB Clean Vehicle Rebate program direct funding toward low-income individuals to help offset the upfront costs to purchase an EV and EV charging stations.


The EVAP recommends developing a local incentive or rebate program to support the installation of EV charging stations on properties of multifamily dwellings, nonprofits and businesses for use by residents, employees and visitors. A pilot rebate program of $50,000 per fiscal year, funded within the existing Office of Sustainability & the Environment operating budget, is proposed in the plan. Staff will develop eligibility criteria so that the rebates can fund as many private charging stations that serve as many drivers as possible. A portion of the funds could be earmarked for low-income individuals or properties where low-income individuals reside.


Designate EV Charging Spaces on City Streets

Municipal Code 3.12.835 currently gives the Director of Planning and Community Development authority to designate off-street parking spaces at existing buildings for electric vehicle charging. The EVAP recommends amending the existing code to make available on-street parking for electric vehicle charging as well. Installation of on-street charging in or near residential areas is considered a priority for reaching residents of multi-family units. Final locations will need to consider site-specific conditions, transportation network and curbside needs.


The impact of on-street charging on meter revenue and parking inventory will have to be continuously monitored and evaluated. Smart charging stations would help by providing utilization data and offering a means to charge fees based on time, rather than just electricity consumption.


Increase Minimum Spaces Dedicated to EV Charging in New Development

The State goal is to increase electric vehicle sales to 15% by 2025, and local EV ownership is expected to quadruple over the same time period. The Zoning Code requires one EV charging station to be installed for every 25-49 parking spaces and two stations for every 50-99 parking spaces in new development projects, which is not sufficient to meet the projected demand for charging stations.


The EVAP recommends that the Zoning Code for new development be revised to require 20% of all commercial parking and a requirement of one EV-ready space per each set of parking spaces dedicated to residential. This would allow tenants who have dedicated tandem parking to have access to at least one EV-ready space. Staff recommend requiring EV-ready spaces instead of requiring stations so that the equipment is not stranded if the tenants do not need or want a charging station.


Constructing EV-ready spaces lowers costs for tenants and landlords, compared to retrofitting parking spaces at a later date to accommodate EVs once the parking is already constructed.


Estimated Capital Costs & Funding

A phased infrastructure plan was developed with internal and external funding mechanisms identified (Table 6), prioritizing new installations over retrofitting existing stations. Staff estimates the cost to complete all infrastructure improvements outlined in the EVAP is approximately $2.35 million in infrastructure costs over three years, with net new costs at $1.39 million.


Phase I includes projects that have already been approved for funding by Council or the Public Works Director. Phases II-IV are not yet funded and are not yet included in the 5-year Capital Improvement Program (CIP). The Civic Center Fleet Charging project is currently funded through the CIP plan. These funds will be used to procure and install EV charging stations through SCE’s Charge Ready program at the Civic Center Parking Structure.


A significant amount of staff time will be spent on project implementation and community program development. Staff will request additional funding to complete the implementation plan in the 2018-2020 CIP budget.


In order to reach the state’s target of 1.5 million EVs on the road by 2025, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the California Energy Commission (CEC) are launching massive funding programs to lower the costs of purchasing and operating EVs. CARB’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project offers rebates for the purchase or lease of zero emission vehicles. Current fiscal year funding has been exhausted and now only $8 million is available for low-income individuals. CEC recently awarded the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology grant program to the Center for Sustainable Energy. This program will provide $15 million in incentives for EV charging once available in 2018.


In addition to its Charge Ready program, SCE recently submitted a large Transportation Electrification program proposal to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). SCE’s proposal includes DC fast charging stations (direct current) for urban clusters, residential rebate programs and building infrastructure for electric buses. SCE has identified Santa Monica as a target community where there is strong interest and capacity to deploy EV infrastructure. This proposal is pending approval from the CPUC, which will likely make available funding by mid to late 2018. A snapshot of SCE’s proposed programs is listed in Attachment D - SCE Proposed Transportation Electrification.


Another source of future funding will be made available from the Volkswagen settlement with the federal government over its diesel emissions fraud. As a result, $800 million over 10 years will be invested in California, covering four areas: (1) Installing charging infrastructure (approximately $120 million), (2) Building a Green City to showcase the benefits of zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) and promote increased ZEV usage (approximately $44 million), (3) Public Education initiatives (approximately $20 million), and (4) Access initiatives like rideanddrive events (not budgeted yet).


Staff cannot estimate what the City is eligible to receive from these funding sources as the majority of these programs have yet to be made available with guidelines and limits. The EVAP will place Santa Monica in a competitive position with shovel-ready projects and proposals. For more information about these sources of funding (Attachment C - EV Funding Resources).


Additional funding streams include user fees, Low Carbon Fuel Standard credits and advertising revenues. With a smart charging system, the City would be able to create new revenue streams through the implementation of user fees and fines, Low Carbon Fuel Standard credits, as well as advertising opportunities. Additional revenue could also become available if free metered parking for EVs were discontinued. The revenues generated could be redirected to implement new EV projects and programs and help keep user fees affordable.


Once the infrastructure is fully deployed, staff estimate the maximum operating costs (including staffing) at approximately $486,160 per year, as detailed below in Tables 6 and 7.  This estimate excludes cost of electricity. As more EV charging stations are installed, the City’s utility costs will increase as well. Once smart charging stations are installed or are replacing older charging stations, staff will be able to report the City’s operational costs associated with EV charging.


Table 6: Estimated Capital Costs


Project Phase

Proposed Charging Ports


Average Unit Cost*

Total Conceptual Cost

Funding Status & Potential New Sources

Phase IB: 2017 Installations




Funded - South Coast Air Quality Management District

Phase II: 2018 Off-street (Libraries, Parks, Lots)




Not yet funded


Energy Efficiency Rebates, CIP, SCE, Grants, New Revenue



Phase IIIA: 2018-2020 Curbside Stations




Phase IIIB: 2018-2020 Streetlight Stations




Phase IIIC: 2018-2020 Public/Private Partnerships




Phase IIID: 2018-2020 Public DC Fast Charging Stations




Phase IV: Retrofit existing stations (ongoing)




TOTAL Public Charging Ports




Phase I A: Civic Center Fleet Charging




Funded – 16/18 CIP


SCE Charge Ready Program

Total Charging Ports


Total Estimated Cost



Budgeted Funds

(Currently Committed or Available for Allocation)




Energy Efficiency Rebates


Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee


16/18 CIP


17/18 Public Works Operating Budget EV Quick Start Fund


South Coast Air Quality Management District Grant


South Coast Air Quality Management District AB 2766 Subvention Funds

Includes design & labor


*The 287chagers does not include the new solar charging station at the airport.

Total Funds Available



 **Escalation rates are not included. A 10% contingency is recommended for the total cost.

Total Net New





+10% Contingency Cost






Table 7: Estimated Operating Costs*

(By end of 3-yr implementation)



Total Annual Cost

Unfunded Cost

Funding Sources (Potential)

Multi-Family EVSE Rebate Program



Existing program budget

EV Coordinator



The EV Coordinator position will likely be a reassignment of an existing position rather than a new FTE.

Smart Charging Station Networking*

·         $280/yr – public charging port (264)

·         $205/yr – fleet charging port (31)






General Fund, EV program revenue, Low Carbon Fuel Standard

Smart Charging Station Maintenance**

·         $645/station/yr (132)**



General Fund, EV program revenue, Low Carbon Fuel Standard

Utility Cost***

·         318 charging ports



Cost recovery

TOTAL Annual Operating Cost




*Charging stations may have one or two charging ports.

**Charging maintenance & repair is provided as a service by charging station vendor, to be approved by Council. Staff may opt to discontinue this service if no significant maintenance or repair issues arise within the first year of operation. 264 smart ports are expected by 2020 (132 dual-port stations). There will likely still be some dumb stations in operation, which have negligible maintenance costs.

***Cost estimates are based on limited station usage data and do not include escalation rates.



Reporting & Accountability

The EVAP recommends that metrics be established to enable staff to monitor progress and provide accountability to plan implementation. Proposed metrics include:

·         Percent of EVs to non-EVs

·         Total number of public & private charging stations

·         Total volume of electricity consumed

·         Total number of charging sessions & average length

·         Operating and capital expenses and revenue associated with public EV charging

·         Estimated emissions reduced from fuel provided

·         Station usage (percent of time actively charging)


The plan also calls for the establishment of an EV working group to provide guidance and oversight of implementation and provide community outreach support. The working group could be comprised of residents and industry experts, when available.


Community Input on the EV Action Plan

Staff has solicited input and feedback through the following:

·         Planning Commission July 19, 2017 and October 4, 2017

·         Task Force on the EnvironmentMay 15,2017, June 19, 2017, July 17, 2017, September 18, 2017 and October 16, 2017

·         Drive Clean Santa Monica (formerly Santa Monica EV Policy Coalition) meetings –July 27, 2016, Dec 14, 2016, May 31, 2017, October 25, 2017

·         Public InputJune 6, 2017 community workshop; Sept 14-Oct. 15, 2017 public comment period


The draft plan was published on September 14, 2017. The public was invited to submit comments and feedback on the document until October 15, 2017. Staff received comments from 13 individuals, Climate Action Santa Monica, SCE, ChargePoint, and Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s office.


Staff also received comments during the June 6, 2017 community workshop and the meetings of the Planning Commission and Task Force on the Environment.


At the October 4, 2017 meeting, the Planning Commission recommended increasing the scope and speed of the plan to meet the market demand for EV charging now and in the future. These comments and the City’s responses, most of which have been incorporated into the plan, are captured in the attached Comment Summary as well as below.  The Commission voted 7-0 to recommend approval of the EV Action Plan with the following changes for Council consideration:

·         Find a mechanism to allow rent-controlled tenants to install chargers

·         Acknowledge in the Plan a way to get to 1,000 chargers in 5 years (this number was mentioned in public testimony as the anticipated need in 5 years)

·         Identify other possible funding sources for EV charging

·         Focus on installation of new chargers first instead of the slow process of upgrading older chargers

·         Encourage a strategy of clustering many chargers (e.g. 20) in public parking lots instead of spreading them in smaller groups (e.g. 2 or 3)

·         Prioritize electrifying the BBB fleet

·         Continue to explore how to increase availability of EV charging in multi-unit residential neighborhoods

·         Add quantitative goals to the Plan as a way to measure success


The Task Force on the Environment suggested using technologies like solar and energy storage to offset electrical demand for EV charging and exploring additional DC fast charging. The Task Force also commented that the overall plan should emphasize the goal to increase EVs and charging, while cautioning that fees should not deter EV owners and would-be owners. At the October 16, 2017 meeting, the Task Force unanimously approved the following motion recommending that Council adopt the EV Action Plan.


The Task Force recommends a cluster of charging stations as much as possible to benefit multi-family residents. Task Force recommends that Council consider the availability of the public facilities that provide charging and allow access 24/7 where viable. 


Generally, feedback has been supportive of the infrastructure and programs, while reiterating the need for a more ambitious network target for charging stations in a shorter timeframe. Many advocates have expressed concern over costs and fees that could be imposed. Due to the many obstacles of installing charging units in multifamily buildings (mostly due to inadequate space and electrical infrastructure), residents have emphasized the need for public charging in multifamily residential neighborhoods. Other feedback included: install new charging stations before upgrading older charging stations, find a mechanism to allow rent-controlled tenants to install charging stations, create clusters of charging stations (e.g., 20) in public parking lots and prioritize electrifying the Big Blue Bus fleet (the BBB is reviewing this issue separately). Staff is reviewing locations to install charging station clusters, which could serve as a model for future large-scale installations.


While staff understands the need for more charging is immediate, the feasibility of increasing the number of stations over a shorter timeline than outlined in the EVAP is not realistic considering existing priorities and available resources (staff and financial) as well as the challenges associated with electric vehicle infrastructure. Staff are continuously exploring options to fund, site and work with partners to deploy charging stations as expeditiously as possible. While the EVAP provides an overarching framework and policy directive, implementation of the plan itself will leverage the dynamic and innovative nature of electric vehicles and charging as opportunities arise. Lastly, implementation will require continued commitment to partnerships (residents who own an EV or someone who does not own an EV but might have parking near their residence reallocated for a charging station, SCE, business entities as well as private property owners). Working together will be required to fully and expeditiously implement the EVAP.


Financial Impacts

Staff estimates the cost to complete all infrastructure improvements outlined in the EVAP is approximately $2.42 million in infrastructure costs over three years, with net new costs at $1.46 million. Approximately $953,734 in funds has already been committed or is available to be allocated. Staff estimate annual operating costs up to $486,160, depending on the usage and maintenance and service needs of the charging equipment. The cost of electricity is likely to vary since estimates were based on limited available data. Staff will return to Council with any specific budget actions associated with future for implementation of the EVAP, including a recommended fee schedule for EV charging.

[1] Predicted EV purchase growth rate, UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation; California EV Market Share, IHS Markit; Annual Meter Revenue, City of Santa Monica, 2017

Meeting History

Nov 14, 2017 5:30 PM  City Council Regular Meeting
draft Draft