The California Energy Commission has approved a $200,000 grant for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency to create a Plug-In Electric Vehicle Readiness Plan for the Tahoe-Truckee Region.
The plan will assess current conditions and charging locations and identify public and private locations where additional charging stations would best serve the public. Completion of the plan will help the Tahoe-Truckee Region attract public and private investment to improve charging station infrastructure, give regional partners a better understanding of the current and future market for electric vehicles and infrastructure, and put forth a strategy for how best to plan for it.
“Not only do we need to make electric vehicle travel within the Tahoe-Truckee Region convenient for residents, visitors, and businesses, we also need to ensure that visitors and second homeowners, who increasingly own PEVs in the Bay Area and Sacramento regions, can get to Tahoe-Truckee in their cars,” said Karin Edwards, Sustainable Communities Program Manager for TRPA.
“Because of its location as a key stop on the Interstate 80 and U.S. Highway 50 corridors, putting the Tahoe-Truckee Region on the ‘electric highway’ would also open large areas of the Northern and Eastern Sierra, areas that are currently inaccessible to electric vehicles. Once equipped with a regional PEV readiness plan to direct and ensure strategic and effective outreach and infrastructure development, the Tahoe-Truckee Region could play a key role in getting more Californians to drive electric vehicles,” Edwards said.
Steve Poncelet, Public Information and Conservation Manager for Tahoe Donner Public Utility District, said the district has seen a dramatic increase in plug-in electric vehicles in its service territory and believes that trend will only increase. “Having a Tahoe-Truckee PEV Readiness Plan will really help our region plan to accommodate plug-in electric vehicles,” Poncelet said.
The plan will be developed through coordinated engagement with key stakeholders in the Tahoe-Truckee Region, as well as partners in adjacent regions such as the Bay Area, Sacramento, and Reno and across the state of California.
“Liberty Utilities looks forward to working with TRPA and other organizations in the Tahoe Basin in this effort,” said Travis Johnson, Liberty Utilities’ Director of Utility Planning and Business Development. “We’ve initiated several programs designed to reduce our carbon footprint and help our customers reduce their energy consumption, too, and we plan to expand those in the future.”
Work on the Plug-In Electric Vehicle Readiness Plan will start in fall 2015 and there will be ample opportunities for the public to be involved, including a public workshop in 2016. People interested in learning more about this initiative or how they can get involved can contact Karin Edwards at firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-589-5258.
The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency leads the cooperative effort to preserve, restore, and enhance the unique natural and human environment of the Lake Tahoe Region, while improving local communities, and people’s interactions with our irreplaceable environment. For additional information, contact Tom Lotshaw, Public Information Officer, at 775-589-5278.