The City Council recently accepted a donation of 350 electric vehicle chargers from Mercedes-Benz USA, with the intent of making them available at no cost to qualifying Long Beach residents and businesses early next year.
“We’re very grateful to Mercedes-Benz for this generous donation, which will encourage more residents to drive electric vehicles and help reduce our carbon footprint,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “Long Beach is committed to being one of the most sustainable cities in the country, and this is a great step in that direction.”
The City’s Office of Sustainability estimates that 1,200 electric vehicles are currently in use by Long Beach residents, with approximately 20 more added every month.
City staff will begin to develop a program for distributing the charging stations to properties throughout Long Beach that have the necessary electrical upgrades to accommodate a charger. The donated chargers are “Level 2” and are compatible with 240-volt electrical outlets. Level 2 chargers can typically deliver a full charge to most electric vehicles in about six hours or less.
The chargers are not considered “all weather,” and will need to be installed in garages or under covered parking.
In January 2017, new building codes will require new buildings constructed in Long Beach to include a higher proportion of parking spaces that are “EV ready” or able to easily accommodate charging stations.