Charging up the Central Coast: Policy Solutions to Improve Electric Vehicle Charging Access in Watsonville

Research Team: Ethan Elkind (lead), Shruti Sarode, and Katie Segal

UC Campus(es): UC Berkeley

Problem Statement: California's goal to eliminate internal combustion engine sales by 2035 poses challenges for lower- and moderate-income residents, hindering their access to electric vehicles (EVs). Barriers include limited EV charging stations, exacerbated by lower home ownership and inadequate grid infrastructure in lower-income communities.

Project Description: To address this, UC Berkeley School of Law's Center for Law, Energy & the Environment (CLEE) partnered with the City of Watsonville. Due to its location, demographics, and ambitious policy goals, Watsonville represents a potential model and case study for other cities around the state grappling with how to boost EV charging infrastructure. CLEE conducted stakeholder interviews and held a convening in Watsonville in May 2023, and developed a set of policy recommendations for both state and local entities to accelerate investment in EV charging infrastructure in Watsonville, which could inform other cities facing similar challenges and seeking to meet state targets and residents’ needs.

Status: Completed

Budget: $49,980


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