City in favor of switching to electric cars

A Volta electric vehicle charging station provides a much-needed charge to a Tesla Model 3 on a rainy March morning in the Kohls parking lot in La Verne. These stations are one of two public charging stations located in the city. La Verne city officials have announced plans to expand electric vehicle infrastructure throughout the city. / photo by Brandi Peters
A Volta electric vehicle charging station provides a much-needed charge to a Tesla Model 3 on a rainy March morning in the Kohls parking lot in La Verne. These stations are one of two public charging stations located in the city. La Verne city officials have announced plans to expand electric vehicle infrastructure throughout the city. / photo by Brandi Peters

Jasmine Soria
Staff Writer 

The city of La Verne is participating in the Southern California Association of Governments to establish an Electrical Vehicle Infrastructure Plan. The city is expecting about 6,500 electric vehicles by 2030. At the moment, there are only four chargers in the city. SCAG has created policies and worked with 18 other cities in Southern California to build infrastructure.

“We will be transitioning over to electric vehicles within the next three to five years,” Tim Hepburn, mayor of La Verne said. “A good part of our community will be electric vehicles, so our residents will need chargers.”

This plan will place electric chargers all throughout the city and the University of La Verne. So far, there are five locations that have been inspected and are in the process of being approved, including the civic center.

City of La Verne officials want the community to be able to shop and eat while charging their car. One of the struggles is placing the chargers in the most accessible locations, but also not to take up space from the gasoline-fueled cars. 

The state of California plans to transition from gasoline vehicles to electric vehicles in hopes of combating climate change.  However, the level of fossil fuel usage varies between states. According to the United Nations IPCC climate change report, in California, fossil fuels make up 47.9% of the current total energy generation; therefore, all vehicles, even electric ones, run on 47.9% of fossil fuel.  If that vehicle was driven in West Virginia, a state that runs on 98% coal, the vehicle now runs on 98% fossil fuel. Mining and extracting raw materials for battery production can have negative impacts on local communities, similar to those of fossil fuel extraction.  

“As a global citizen, I’m especially concerned about the mining extraction impact to local communities of lithium, a key component for battery production, which at best is estimated to run out in 2100, or run three billion electric cars,” Victor Carmona, biology professor, said. 

La Verne allows residents to add charging equipment to their property. The city’s website provides an application and permitting process prior to installation. Since there are few chargers throughout the city, implementing a charging station is convenient while the infrastructure is still being developed. 

“At home, we have the luxury of having solar panels, so we’re able to have a charging station for the Tesla at our home, but I think for others in the area that do not have that option, it is extremely beneficial and convenient,” Neidenne Arevalo, a junior communications major and electric vehicle owner, said.

La Verne is focusing on short-term and long-term goals to combat climate change and start making a change.

“We are in the discussion and possible planning stage,” Anthony Ciotti, La Verne interim public works director, said. “There will be more information in about a month.”

Jasmine Soria can be reached at jasmine.soria@laverne.edu.

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