Regional transportation planning officials are inviting feedback on the Central Coast Zero Emission Vehicle Strategy through June 9. The draft strategy identifies recommended locations for new vehicle charging stations and unique challenges with zero emission infrastructure in six central coast counties between Ventura, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties.
California announced a requirement in August 2022 that all new passenger cars and light trucks sold in the state must be electric vehicles or plug-in hybrids by 2035.
Insight drawn from over 7,000 visits to an online interactive mapping tool last fall helped shape the central coast strategy.
Santa Barbara County saw a high volume of requests for charging infrastructure at shopping centers, recreation sites, and along the U.S. Highway 101. Participants noted that the lack of charging stations on U.S. Highway 101 Southbound and U.S. Highway 166.
The strategy was also informed by meaningful information gained from in-depth focus groups, designed to gain valuable feedback and ideas on how to move forward.
“It’s clear from the feedback we received in Santa Barbara County that workplace charging infrastructure is lagging behind demand, and this is an issue that needs to be addressed,” said Jenelle Osborne, chair of Santa Barbara County Association of Governments and Lompoc mayor “The absence of charging facilities in multi-family housing developments is also proving to be a significant obstacle for some drivers to make the switch to electric vehicles and highlights the need for investment in more charging solutions which are tailored specifically for these types of living environments.”
Santa Barbara County Association of Governments, Association of Monterey Bay Governments, and San Luis Obispo Council of Governments, partnered to develop the Central Coast Zero Emission Vehicle Strategy along with the counties of Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey Santa Cruz, and San Benito in the California Central Coast. The strategy will be considered for approval by the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments Board of Directors in July.
Central coast transportation planning officials are gearing up to take advantage of the strategy’s recommendations to seek public and private funding that will support the expansion of electric vehicle charging infrastructure throughout the region to support the traveling public.
The public is invited to provide feedback and engage in a conversation about the draft strategy during the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments Board of Directors meeting at 10 a.m. on May 18 and July 20 in Santa Maria at the Board of Supervisors Hearing Room at 511 East Lakeside Parkway, Santa Maria, CA 93455. Details on how to participate remotely in Santa Barbara and online will be published on the SBCAG Board of Directors agenda at least 48 hours prior to the meeting available at www.sbcag.org
Comments on the draft Central Coast Zero Emission Vehicle Strategy can also be submitted in writing until 5 p.m. on Friday, June 9. Written comments can be submitted via U.S. Postal Service to 260 N. San Antonio Road, Suite B, Santa Barbara, CA 93110; or electronically by emailing email@example.com. The public can also add comments to the online interactive map, which can be accessed through the project website.
The public can visit www.centralcoastzevstrategy.com for further information and to view the draft strategy and access the online interactive map.