Thursday, January 11, 2024

The Air District has been awarded $15 million in federal grant funding to spur the creation of a more robust, accessible and equitable electric vehicle charging network across the nine counties of the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Spare the Air Status

Funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration’s Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Discretionary Grant Program will add hundreds of EV charging ports to the region, with an emphasis on serving disadvantaged communities.

“This generous federal award will be indispensable to the Bay Area’s efforts to transition to a cleaner transportation network with both immediate and long-lasting benefits in the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and the reduction of toxic air pollution burdens in our most impacted communities,” said Dr. Philip Fine, executive officer of the Air District. “We are extremely grateful to the Biden administration and for the support of Congressman DeSaulnier, Senator Alex Padilla and others who helped us secure this crucial funding that will enhance our in-demand electric infrastructure grant programs and provide healthier air quality for every Bay Area resident.”

This grant funding arises from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which was signed into law by President Biden in November 2021. Members of the Bay Area’s congressional delegation were instrumental in shaping the section of this bill pertaining to zero-emission infrastructure -- – in particular, former Air District Board Member and current Congressman Mark DeSaulnier, who serves on the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, and Senator Alex Padilla, who serves on the Environment and Public Works Committee. Sen. Padilla and Rep. DeSaulnier led an effort to prioritize clean charging in impacted communities, and Rep. DeSaulnier drafted a key letter of support for the Air District’s grant application.

“As California leads the charge toward an electric-vehicle-powered future, we must make sure EV stations are broadly accessible to drivers across the Bay Area and beyond,” said Senator Padilla. “That means investing in public charging networks like the San Francisco Bay Area Electric Vehicle Charging Project that focus on serving low-income communities. Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we’re deploying more of the technology needed to make EVs accessible to all Californians.”

“I am proud to hear that BAAQMD received $15 million from the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Grant Program, which stemmed from my bill the Clean Corridors Act, to help accelerate implementation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the Bay Area,” said Congressman DeSaulnier. “I am excited to see federal funding that Congressional Democrats secured work in conjunction with state and regional programs to provide more convenient access to and EV charging stations in the district I represent to help families and communities transition to EVs in order to cut down on harmful emissions, save on gas money and address climate change.”

This federal award will be administered through the Air District’s Charge! Program, which incentivizes the purchase and installation of new charging stations at qualifying facilities. It will be used to support the buildout of the Bay Area’s public charging network, with investments targeted for priority communities and disadvantaged areas.

This program will help foster deployment of public electric vehicle charging infrastructure in publicly accessible locations throughout the region, such as local businesses, retail centers, municipal and local community sites, intermodal transportation facilities, parking facilities, workplaces, commercial districts, public parks, and other sites in Bay Area communities.

The grant funding will help improve local air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and aid the Air District in its efforts to establish a regional charging network that will support and encourage continued growth in electric vehicle adoption. The Air District will emphasize equity considerations in distributing the grants, to ameliorate existing disparities in the transportation system and to promote a convenient, reliable and affordable charging experience for all users.

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Last Updated: 1/11/2024