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City Approves Grant to Complete SPPD’s EV Fleet

By Jessica Doherty
The Review

Electrification was one of the main talking points at the South Pasadena City Council meeting on Dec. 6.
City officials were given an update on EV infrastructure and construction through a presentation from Southern California Edison, and Public Works Director Ted Gerber provided more information on funding for the complete electrification of the police department’s vehicle fleet.
The Council unanimously voted to accept a $499,789 grant from the Air Quality Management District as recommended by the agency’s Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee. The funding would be used to implement the new electric vehicle fleet and the supporting infrastructure around it. The grant, approved by the AQMD in May, would span the next five years. The program is partially funded by the reimbursement from fees associated with residents registering their own electric vehicles.
Gerber also said the city’s partnership with SCE would reduce some of their charger installation costs. Part of the savings are also due to the price drop of the Tesla Model Y vehicle, according to SPPD Sgt. Tony Abdalla. He added that the full police fleet could be dispatched in February.
With that in mind, City Manager Arminé Chaparyan said she would like to propose an item in the coming weeks about electrifying not just the police department fleet, but all city vehicles.
Janet Soriano, government relations manager at Southern California Edison, shared a presentation of the Charge Ready program that provided construction updates of EV infrastructure.
SCE’s $436-million program supports EV charging for infrastructure for light-duty electric vehicles, with plans to install 30,000 chargers throughout the region. Soriano said half of those chargers would be specifically installed to benefit disadvantaged communities and that there are also plans to install chargers in harder-to-electrify multifamily homes.
“We’re working to enable our customers to transition to zero-emission vehicles through a multifaceted approach focused on affordability, awareness, and the availability of charging infrastructure,” she said.
This project would also include maintenance of these chargers.
Soriano said that this project is expected to cost the city $650,000 for citywide infrastructure.
SCE is currently near the end of the design and build process, and now seeks to secure permits to order the switchgear components of the chargers to begin installation. There is a current global shortage of switchgears which will impact the timeline of the project, and Soriano said they are doing all they can to work as quickly as possible, given the plans for the South Pasadena police fleet to become the first all-electric law enforcement fleet in the nation.
SCE representative John Nelson estimated construction to be complete in September 2024 if all materials are secured. Gerber said that this project would provide around 20 devices.
This is a separate but similar project to the Charge Ready Transport program mentioned in the Nov. 15 meeting, which Gerber said would take about a year to complete the two approved chargers.

First published in the December 14 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.

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