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Central Coast electric vehicle infrastructure expansions expected with new incentives for locals

$12 million in funding is coming to the Central Coast over the next two years to incentivize the building of electric vehicle chargers.

$12 million in funding is coming to the Central Coast over the next two years to incentivize the building of electric vehicle chargers in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.

The money is coming from the California Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project, or CALeVIP’s, South Central Coast Incentive Project. The goal is to provide rebates for the purchase and installation of chargers.

This funding is estimated to build more than 1,000 electric vehicle chargers and charging stations in the three Central Coast counties.

Eligible locations that can apply for the installation incentives include places like gas stations, grocery stores, multifamily properties, local governments and school districts.

Qualified applicants will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

CALeVIP is also putting extra emphasis on bridging the electric vehicle gap for disadvantaged and low-income communities, so applicants in those areas are eligible for extra funding.

Central Coast Community Energy, 3CE, is ??a public agency that supplies renewable electricity for residents and businesses locally. They are contributing $1.75 million of the $12 million total in funding for this project, with the company’s funds available to 3CE customers and 50 percent of that money dedicated to disadvantaged communities.

Shelly Whitworth is 3CE’s Senior Energy Media Specialist. She said interest in the project is really high but the launch date isn’t certain yet, so energy customers have time to go through the application process now and make sure they are eligible to receive incentive funding ahead of time.

Whitworth said there can be a lot of benefits for people who decide to invest in electric vehicle chargers.

“There’s a lot more EV adoption going on, and right now, we’re in this awkward state where if someone doesn't own a charger at home, they’re wondering, ‘Where can I conveniently charge?’ So if you're the site owner of a grocery store, hospital or any public area, then people are more likely to visit your area,” Whitworth said.

Whitworth said 3CE is also encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles and the use of these incentives to support local and state climate goals.

“We’re really looking to do that to reduce air pollution right here on our beautiful Central Coast as well as water pollution,” Whitworth said. “And it’s in line with the State of California’s goals to help get 5 million zero emission vehicles on the road by 2030.”

To check your EV charging station incentive eligibility and find out how much funding you may qualify for, click here.

Rachel Showalter first joined KCBX as an intern from Cal Poly in 2017. During her time in college, she anchored and reported for Mustang News at Cal Poly's radio station, KCPR. After graduating, she took her first job as a Producer at KSBY-TV. She returned to the KCBX team in October 2020, reporting daily for KCBX News until she moved to the Pacific Northwest in July of 2022. Rachel spends her off-days climbing rocks, cooking artichokes and fighting crosswords with friends.
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