The U.S. Department of Energy and City of Carlsbad entered an agreement to place five electric vehicle charging stations within the community, according to a Carlsbad City Council document.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Carlsbad Field Office (CBFO) would provide $500,000 for five solar powered covered electrical vehicle (EV) charging stations.
Angie Barrios-Testa, City of Carlsbad municipal services director, said the city would lease charging equipment as a cost saving measure.
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City of Carlsbad Assistant City Administrator KC Cass said DOE approached the City nearly two years ago amid a move by the federal government to add electric vehicles to DOE fleets in Carlsbad and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).
“CBFO will need to ensure that there are adequate charging locations throughout the City of Carlsbad in places at or near where DOE currently does and may do business in the foreseeable future,” read a DOE proposal to the City of Carlsbad.
CBFO would work with the City of Carlsbad to identify locations to place EV charging stations on city-owned property, the proposal stated.
“The grant is over five years, and this would be funded 100 percent by DOE,” Cass said.
“The City of Carlsbad does not currently have any electric vehicles. These charging stations will be available for public use, meaning there will be more opportunity for anyone who wishes to use them to do so,” he added.
Since 2021 the Biden-Harris administration has focused on cleaner cars driving on roads across the U.S.
President Joe Biden set a target of 50 percent of EV sale shares in the U.S. by 2030, read an online fact sheet from the White House.
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Passed by Congress in 2021 the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allowed DOE and the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to establish a Joint Office of Energy and Transportation focused on deploying EV infrastructure, according to the White House website.
“Decarbonization of the grid will not achieve its full potential if rural communities are left out,” according to the CBFO proposal.
“EV charging stations can help relieve energy burdens and provide an alternative fuel option that can increase community resiliency across the county,” the proposal stated.
“We are aware of a small number of charging stations that are currently located in Carlsbad, including one in the McDonalds parking lot,” he said.
Cass said city staff was working on a location map with a goal of picking strategic locations to support residents and visitors to Carlsbad who may want to use the EV stations.
“Once the application is approved, it will be 6 to 8 months before funding is available. From then, it will depend on the availability of equipment,” he said.
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Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at [email protected] or @ArgusMichae on Twitter.