Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Bring Excitement to Local Community

At a Carmel Valley condominium complex, the lush landscaping is not the only draw. Its latest selling point is electric vehicle (EV) charging stations dedicated for the use of its residents.

Under our Power Your Drive program, SDG&E worked with The Lakes at Carmel Del Mar to install eight charging ports in the community at a low cost—less than $10 per unit for the 192-unit complex. The newly installed charging stations opened for use by residents last week.

We are ramping up Power Your Drive to install 3,500 EV chargers at multi-family communities and workplaces throughout the region. Our goal is to place 40 percent of the stations at apartment and condo complexes, where residents typically don’t have their own garages and easy access to electrical outlets to plug in their vehicles.

EV Drivers Enjoy Convenience and Fuel Savings

Gordon Gilbreath, president of The Lakes’ homeowner association board of directors, said the charging stations have already made a difference for him and his partner, who each drive the plug-in hybrid Ford Fusion Energi. Before the charging stations were installed, they did not have a convenient place to charge their vehicles, and as a result, they had primarily driven their cars in gas mode.

“Just to be able to come home and to be able to charge, that’s huge,” Gilbreath said.

With charging easily accessible, Gilbreath has been able to cover part of his commute and travels driving electric. By his calculations, the cost of fully charging his car battery—which is good for about 20 miles—is less than half the current cost for a gallon of gasoline. With the fuel savings, Gilbreath hopes to spend a little extra on vacations.

Customers enrolled in Power Your Drive can take advantage of a special EV rate and can  see charging prices a day ahead, so they can program their vehicles to charge when costs are lowest. During the middle of the day, when there is plenty of solar energy, the cost can be as low as $0.14 per kilowatt hour.

Triple Benefits

Aside from feeling good about reducing pollution and saving money, Gilbreath said he enjoys the electric driving experience, “It’s quiet, and I love the fact that there’s no emissions.”

Currently, half a dozen residents at The Lakes drive EVs and many more have expressed interest in going electric. According to Gilbreath, one of the community’s new residents specifically searched out complexes with charging stations when moving from the East Coast.

New Amenity Enhances Property Appeal

Tony Tarantino, who serves on The Lakes’ HOA Board, believes having the charging stations as an amenity will make the complex even more attractive to potential buyers and renters, and could also potentially increase property values.

“It’s a no brainer,” Tarantino said about the decision to work with SDG&E to get the charging stations installed.

Power Your Drive provides a turnkey solution. Working closely with property managers and owners, SDG&E helps identify their needs and determine the best locations and number of charging stations. Once the details are worked out, we oversee the engineering, permitting and construction, as well as maintenance once the charging stations are installed.

To provide multi-family communities with convenience and peace of mind, the charging stations are dedicated for the use of those who live or work in those communities and have set up accounts to use the stations.

Is it Time to Power Your Drive?

To learn more about Power Your Drive and how your apartment, condo complex or workplace can apply to have charging stations installed, visit sdge.com/poweryourdrive.

Watch Gordon Gilbreath share his experience with Power Your Drive at The Lakes at Carmel Del Mar in this recent KGTV 10 News segment.