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Comprehensive Environmental Projects

Regional Planning for Alternative Fuel Vehicles and Infrastructure

In 2009, SANDAG conducted an assessment on how to accelerate deployment of alternative fuel vehicles in and around San Diego entitled the Regional Alternative Fuels, Vehicles and Infrastructure Report. That report recommended public – private partnerships and collaborative approaches such as forming strategic regional alliances and coordinated planning for a robust electric vehicle charging network. Its findings were incorporated into the SANDAG Regional Energy Strategy and Climate Action Strategy.

Strong regional support for alternative fuels communicates to the market that the San Diego region is committed to and seeks to attract investment in alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure, such as plug-in electric vehicles and electric chargers.

As of 2006, daily travel demand in the San Diego region was about 16.7 million daily trips and 85 million vehicles miles traveled (VMT).  Nearly 100 percent of these trips and vehicle miles were made with gasoline and diesel vehicles, and account for about 1.5 billion gallons of gasoline and diesel consumption. In 2007, SANDAG forecast that under a business-as-usual scenario, there will be 111 million VMT daily in 2030. Without efforts to increase deployment of alternative fuels, use more fuel efficient vehicles and reduce VMT, forecasted regional travel demand equates to annual gasoline and diesel consumption of 2.4 billion gallons by 2030.

The EV Project

SANDAG has partnered with ECOtality and Nissan North America on the San Diego regional component of the EV (Electric Vehicle) Project. The EV Project is the largest deployment of electric vehicles and charge infrastructure in U.S. history and is occurring in strategic markets in five states: Arizona, California, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington.

At the end of 2010, Nissan dealerships began sale of the all-electric Nissan LEAF that can travel up to 100 miles on a single charge. In preparation for the rollout of electric vehicles, ECOtality began deployment of publicly accessible electric chargers, known as electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE).  ECOtality was awarded a $100 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to embark on the EV Project. The project launched in October 2009 and will last approximately 36 months. ECOtality partnered with Nissan to deploy up to 4,700 LEAFs, and over 11,000 charging systems in the five strategic markets. 

In the San Diego region, local partners include UCSD, Miramar College, the California Center for Sustainable Energy, SDG&E, SANDAG and the San Diego Regional Clean Fuels Coalition. The Project also received an $8 million grant from the California Energy Commission for additional infrastructure in our region. The ultimate goal of the EV Project is to take the lessons learned from the deployment of these first 4,700 EVs, and the charging infrastructure supporting them, to enable the streamlined deployment of the next five million electric vehicles.

Project Manager

Susan Freedman, Senior Regional Energy Planner
Phone: (619) 699-7387, Email:

For media inquiries, please contact the SANDAG Public Information Office at (619) 699-1950 or