The Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) notes on its website that ICE vehicles are one of the city’s top contributors to air pollution, accounting for 19% of all greenhouse gas emissions, before proclaiming, “We can do better… We’re investing in public transit, testing new technology, and adopting mobility innovations for a cleaner environment and brighter future.” At first, it might just sound like flowery rhetoric, but we can personally attest to that commitment. Starting in 2019, LADOT partnered with us to install DCFCs at 57 city-owned lots, with almost 30% of those installations now completed. This alliance has been integral in promoting our goal of zero-emission mobility in the City of Angels by facilitating greater access to infrastructure.
It’s because of this commitment to a sustainable future – including steps taken to electrify their entire bus fleet and advance traffic reduction measures – that we make LADOT’s City Lot 656 our featured site for May. The address is 1615 Colby Avenue in West Los Angeles and can be seen here:
The lot is conveniently situated near the 405 and 10 freeways in close proximity to the main UCLA campus and is walking distance from Sawtelle Japantown’s many distinct restaurants, salons, anime shops and artisan craft stores. Nearby attractions include The Getty Museum, Los Angeles National Cemetery and Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden. More about LADOT’s parking facilities and initiatives can be found on their website:
At Lot 656, we put four shiny new DC fast chargers in the ground, all with their own dedicated parking spots solely for EVs. These 50 kW Slim Lines feature 480 VAC three-phase input power, 6000 VAC surge protection, and an over 90% efficiency rating that will charge an EV battery to better than 80% in just one hour. The total cost of the installation, including site assessments, permitting, trenching and electrical work, ran about $400,000 and took a year to complete; however, as technology improves, demand increases and red tape is trimmed, market forces will continue to drive down costs and installation times will shrink.
According to clean energy advocacy group RMI, the cost of hardware components is already dropping as manufacturers streamline their internal processes; rather, soft costs associated with municipal and governmental regulations offer the greatest obstacle to cheaper installations. A report by Chris Nelder that RMI published in 2019 titled “Reducing EV Charging Infrastructure Costs” notes, “the costs of permitting delays, utility interconnection requests, [and] compliance with a balkanized framework of regulations… were frequently cited as more significant cost drivers than charging station hardware in the United States.”
However, LADOT’s enthusiasm in joining with EVCS to chart a path toward greater EV adoption offered us the opportunity to work with them on many of these issues, not only to eventually improve the entire installation process for all LA-based site hosts, but to serve as a national leader for other cities to emulate. Our hope is that such frank conversations will encourage more overall participation by speeding up permitting requests, simplifying regulations and allowing for more efficient allocation of public funding that makes the installation process shorter and less burdensome to site hosts.
For now, we’re just happy to be installing more chargers. City Lot 656 is one small example of what a private/public partnership can accomplish when all goals are aligned. Thank you again to the City of LA and its Department of Transportation for helping us pave new roads to the future!Tags: car chargers, DCFC, EV charging, EV infrastructure, LADOT, Los Angeles, Lot 656