A push toward stronger electrification efforts, including the installation of solar panels, vehicle chargers, converting police department patrol cars from gas-powered to electric and more, will be addressed by the South Pasadena City Council during its regularly scheduled September 21 meeting at City Hall.
Among issues addressed as outlined in a report provided by the City of South Pasadena and what the council will be asked to do includes:
- Authorize the City Manager to enter into a Memorandum to participate in the Clean Power Alliance Power Ready Program, which facilitates installation of solar panels at the Hope/Mound City parking lot and battery backup systems at City Hall to support building electrification.
- Authorize the City Manager to enter into a Participation Agreement with Southern California Edison (SCE) to participate in the SCE Charge Ready Program, which facilitates installation of Level 2 electric vehicle chargers at City Hall parking lots (police department, fire department, and employee parking lots) to support Public Safety fleet electrification, and a 10-year commitment by the City to provide and maintain the chargers.
- Authorize the City Manager to enter into a Master Lease Equity Agreement between the City of South Pasadena and Enterprise Fleet Management Inc. (See below).
- Authorize appropriation of $304,124 for the leasing of ten (10) new Tesla Model Y and ten (10) Tesla Model 3 vehicles from Enterprise Fleet Management Inc., authorize appropriation of $383,752 for a one-time down payment for twenty (20) vehicles from Enterprise Fleet Management Inc., and a 15% project contingency, and authorize $31,124 for the vehicle lease account deficit payment, for a total of $719,000.
- Provide direction to City staff on developing plans to install one or more Level 3 electric vehicle chargers in the City Hall Police Department parking lot to support Public Safety fleet electrification;
In July, the council listened to a presentation from the police department and the need to transition from aging, high-mileage gas-powered vehicles to electric. Councilmembers requested the item return for future consideration after requests were made for additional information.
“We’re using our funds prudently and wisely and looking to save the city significantly in operating and fuel costs,” explained South Pasadena Mayor Michael Cacciotti, noting that patrol cars used by the local police department will provide better performance and safety for officers. “Going electric will protect the health of our employees and our residents because they are non-polluting unlike internal combustion cars that give off harmful fumes throughout our neighborhoods and near schools, especially harming our youth and seniors.”
Cacciotti, who along with his mayoral duties, serves as a board member for the South Coast Air Quality Management District, further stressed the importance for cleaner air, adding: “We can’t continue to let this go. We all have to do our best to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing longer droughts, severe weather like the excessive heat we’ve just experienced in recent weeks, hurricanes, and floods. If we don’t do something now it’s just going to exacerbate the situation.”
Enhancing electrification efforts at City Hall, insists the mayor, means significant benefits to the city budget, will cut down on fuel costs, and reduce the down time of police gas-powered vehicles going in for repair.
Reducing the amount of pollution, simply makes sense to the mayor. As a youth soccer coach, he has witnessed players on his team struggle with breathing as a result of asthma. “It’s about time we do something about it,” he said. “No level of dirty air is good to someone suffering from asthma.”
Cacciotti stressed the need of the city’s electrification plan to be approved either all at once or phased in over a two or three year period.
Money for cities, he says, is available through AB 2766, which allocates a $4 per vehicle registration surcharge fee toward grant projects that reduce motor vehicle emissions.
A reserve fund for renewable energy, which the city can tap into, is also available as a funding resource. Cacciotti said roughly $600,000 to pay for some of the electrification efforts is in the account. In addition, the city has applied for a sizable grant through the AQMD Mobile Source Air Pollution Review Committee to help pay for the program, working in tandem with Edison and Clean Power Alliance.
“If we could get some of this funding, it would be topping on the cake,” said Cacciotti.