In April, the City of Westminster celebrated the opening of 15 new electric vehicle charging stations in the community. The Civic Center parking structure now has 10 spaces for Level 2 charging and 1 space for Level 3 charging – all open to the public. The Level 3 Fast Charger can provide an 80% charge in about 30 minutes. The City also installed 4 Level 2 chargers for use by City fleet vehicles at its Corporate Yard. These are the first EV chargers installed by the City.
The MSRC provided $115,000 through its Local Government Match Program for the installation of these 15 charging stations. This program provides dollar-for-dollar matching funds for qualified clean air projects in the South Coast Air District. The City was able to realize some costs savings during the project which enabled them to install three more chargers than it originally planned, including the Fast Charger.
The City wanted to invest in these EV charging stations to help more of its residents consider driving EVs. “The major component to EV growth is a strong charging network,” said Daniel Hsieh, Associate Civil Engineer for the City of Westminster. “EVs need to have strong growth in order for them to improve air quality.”
City staff has seen an increasing popularity of EVs in the community. The City was exploring adding EVs to use in its fleet and realized that there was a void of charging stations along Beach Boulevard between two major freeways, I-405 and SR-22. The City turned to the MSRC for co-funding to help remedy this gap in the charging station network.
In just the first six weeks, there have been more than 100 uses of the newly installed chargers and that number is sure to grow as more residents learn about the chargers and purchase electric vehicles. The City was pleasantly surprised at how popular the Fast Charger has been with drivers. The demand for Level 3 charging has been about 5 times that of Level 2 charging.
“All of the reactions we have received have been positive,” Daniel noted. “People like that the chargers are installed in a well-lit area. Safety and convenience seem to be important to users.”
With the addition of these new charging stations, the City wants to explore adding new alternative fuel vehicles to its fleet. The City is committed to helping expand the growth of electric vehicles to help improve air quality for its residents and all of Southern California.