Press Release - San Francisco Announces Comprehensive Plan to Accelerate EV Adoption

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SAN FRANCISCO — On March 19, 2024, at San Francisco City Hall, Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, joined by leaders from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) and San Francisco Environment Department (SFE), as well as a broad coalition of electric vehicle proponents, announced a joint, three-step initiative to undertake a Curbside Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Citywide Assessment, develop a framework for a Curbside EV Charging Pilot Program, all of which support the installation of future curbside chargers as a pilot demonstration project in 2025. This Curbside EV Charging initiative is part of the City’s efforts to meet growing demand for EVs by facilitating the installation of over 5,000 public chargers by 2030.

“Although demand for EVs in San Francisco is triple the national average, the majority of San Franciscans reside in multi-unit housing without access to off-street or home charging spots,” said Supervisor Mandelman. “This EV curbside charging initiative is an opportunity to accelerate the transition to EVs by making more public chargers available, thereby moving us closer to our emission reduction goals.”

The study will evaluate the installation, operation, and maintenance of public charging infrastructure at the curb in selected locations in San Francisco. The framework, developed in parallel with and informed by the study, will also identify key components, project costs, and parameters necessary for implementation of a future pilot beginning in 2025. The ultimate goal is to deploy public EV charging pilot stations at the curb in multiple neighborhoods across San Francisco, with the intention of becoming a citywide program.

“Curbside charging allows San Franciscans without their own garage to go electric. It can also eliminate extension cords strung across neighborhood sidewalks,” said SFMTA Director of Transportation Jeffrey Tumlin. “Allowing San Franciscans to connect their home electric meter to the curb is one of the fastest ways we can help decarbonize transport.”

Other cities have curbside charging programs like New York City, Los Angeles, and Seattle. New York City implemented curbside EV charging pilots with promising results, such as the installation of 100 Level 2 EV curbside chargers in 2021 with 81% charger efficiency and 99.9% charger uptime. The study will incorporate best practices and lessons learned from these cities to shape San Francisco’s pilot framework.

Strategic deployment of curbside charging infrastructure will ensure convenient and equitable public access to charging solutions, effectively democratizing the adoption of electric mobility," said Tyrone Jue, Director of the San Francisco Environment Department.

San Francisco currently has 1,193 public EV charging stations to date. As charger access is disproportionately lower in Black and Latino majority neighborhoods and areas with below-median household incomes, the opportunity to utilize the curb will help ensure more equitable distribution of public charging options. Supervisor Mandelman will be introducing a resolution today at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors affirming support for this initiative, which also includes a provision to build equity and community feedback considerations into the feasibility study and pilot program framework.

“Curbside charging is one of the tools needed until the day all multifamily housing has access to power for cars,” said Co-Founder of Golden Gate EV Association Marc Geller, “Golden Gate EV Association is proud to support this initiative to ensure we have more robust EV charging infrastructure for EV owners across San Francisco.”

“Acterra has spent years fighting for equal access to clean transportation-this pilot feels like a turning point in our work and we cannot wait to for charging to be more accessible, more affordable, and more reliable,” said Lauren Weston, Executive Director of Acterra, & the EV Charging for All Coalition, “It is past time for us to serve people where they are, and Acterra is thrilled to support this program.”

“California is a leader in innovation and technology, and it is exciting to see San Francisco looking to utilize federal funding from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act to continue to lead the way on climate action,” said Aaron McCall, EnviroVoters Federal Advocacy Coordinator, “By making EV chargers more accessible, it’s clear San Franciscans are in the driver’s seat when it comes to green jobs and a green transition.”

“IBEW Local 6 has been at the forefront of electric transportation for more than a century,” said John Dougherty, Business Manager of IBEW Local 6, “We look forward to putting our members and local contractors to work making San Francisco EV ready.”

SFMTA will be conducting the study and leading the development of the framework. Read the draft resolution supporting the EV curbside charging initiative here.

A link to photos from the press conference is included here.