On July 12, the City of Burbank celebrated the installation of eight new charging stations located at the Community Services Building parking lot. Dignitaries were on-hand to share in the festivities, including Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), who used one of the new chargers to plug in his electric Bolt (see photo). The charging stations offer 16 charging ports and are located at 375 East Olive Avenue in Downtown Burbank.
The MSRC provided more than $137,000 in Clean Transportation Funding to help the City install the new chargers. According to the City, the location was chosen to meet three key community needs including workplace charging, public charging for visitors to Downtown Burbank, and charging for residents who live within walking distance to the lot, specifically apartment renters that may not have access to charging at home.
“While these are not the first public EV chargers installed in Burbank, this is one of the largest locations in the City. Burbank now has 73 public EV charging ports at 17 sites throughout the City,” said Tracie Neiswonger, media representative from the City of Burbank. “These chargers also are available for the public to charge overnight as well. So far, the chargers are already being used about 300 times per month.”
According to Neiswonger, the public’s reaction has been extremely favorable. “Customers, especially the ones that drive EVs, have been very excited about the new chargers. The posts we’ve published about these chargers have had some of the highest customer engagement on social media for the utility. This project had a lot of visibility in the community. As a result, we’ve had business owners, including a gas-station owner, contact Burbank Water and Power to find out how they can get EV chargers installed because they learned about this project.”
The siting of the chargers couldn’t have been more ideal. “Nearby renters have been excited to learn about the charging stations being available at night because they live in a neighboring apartment building and couldn’t charge in their building,” she noted. “Burbank has a Farmers Market held in the Community Services Building parking lot every Saturday. The new EV chargers have been well-received by the Farmers Market patrons who like to be able to park and charge so close to the market.”
Tracie explained the importance of MSRC funding to a program like this. “Grants from the MSRC make projects like this possible, especially for a City like Burbank that has ambitious transportation electrification goals. As a municipal utility, these kinds of installations can be financially challenging, particularly since we are still in the relatively early days of mainstream EV adoption. The grant funds we receive allow us to help drive local EV adoption by making investments in charging infrastructure. The investments help reduce the barriers our customers have, such as range anxiety, making the transition to electric transportation smoother for the members of our community. By installing more public EV chargers throughout the City, we are giving our residents and visitors peace of mind that they will have access to reliable and affordable charging wherever they live or go in Burbank.”
Because Burbank is such a highly congested traffic area, these new chargers will help reduce air pollution in the City. Burbank has two major freeways running through it with more than 129,000 commuters coming into the City, and about 36,000 commuting out of the city on a regular workday. Transportation accounts for 43 percent of Burbank’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Neiswonger added that “electrifying transportation will play a huge role in reducing GHG in our community,”