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Lancaster city electric vehicles could cost less to recharge

City Council approves rate adjustment

OW Staff Writer | 9/25/2020, midnight
Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris and the City Council gave approval to..

 Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris and the City Council gave approval to update the rates of level two electric vehicle (EV) charging stations during the City Council Meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 8.

The Council was presented with a proposal to update networked level two EV charging station rates and decrease the rate for city-owned fast-charging stations to encourage the use of EV charging stations. 

To update the charging costs and make them more affordable, City Council approved to decrease the per kWh charge from $0.50 to $0.26. In addition to the per kWh rate, users will also be charged a $1 per session initiation charge. The station fee charged after the first four hours of charging will decrease from $5.00 per hour to $1.50 per hour. Staff worked with Charge Point to ensure that the updated energy rate and station fee will generate sufficient revenue to offset the costs of the energy used at each site as well as the costs to maintain each site. 

Since 2017, the City has continued to expand its electric vehicle infrastructure and many of the charging sites that were planned for have since been completed, including six charging stations at Antelope Valley Hospital, six charging stations at the Sgt. Steve Owen Park and Ride, and most recently an upgrade completed at the Museum of Art and History. 

Furthermore, Southern California Incentive Program (SCIP) funding will support the installation of one level three fast charger at Lancaster City Hall and one at the BLVD Marriott. The deployment of fast chargers is the next step in the City’s expansion of its electric vehicle infrastructure. 

Once level three fast charging stations are deployed rates will be set at $0.32 per kWh and include a $1.00 per session initiation charge and a $5.00 per hour station fee after the first hour of charging. The $5 fee after the first hour will encourage electric vehicle users to move their vehicles once their charge is complete. 

Fast chargers are unique because they require less charging time and have the ability to charge up to 80 percent of an electric vehicle’s battery in less than 20 minutes. Nonetheless, once they are deployed in the City, staff will monitor usage and costs to ensure that the established per kWh fee is in line with fast charger fees in other communities.  

In addition to the $40,000 that has been allocated for each site through SCIP, the City intends to partner with Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District to acquire additional grant funding for the fast chargers and grant funding to add additional level two chargers throughout the community.