San Diego must qualify as the greenest city in the nation’s greenest state. So it’s a bit of a shock when its largest car sharing service, Car2Go, decides to give up on electric cars and go back to using cars with internal combustion engines. The problem, Car2Go says, is there are not enough EV charging stations in the San Diego area to make its business model viable. It currently has about 400 electric cars in its car sharing fleet.
This is bad news for a city that prides itself on its plan to slash carbon emissions by 50% by the year 2035 — one of the most ambitious programs of any US city. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, electric cars are vital to that plan , as is car sharing because it can fill small gaps in commutes that rely on mass transit or bicycling.
City and environmental leaders said on Wednesday that the decision by Car2Go should be a call to action.”It’s a lesson to all of us that we have to work harder to build the infrastructure necessary to support electric vehicles and other transportation modes,” City Councilman Todd Gloria said.
Nicole Capretz, a consultant who was the primary author of the city’s climate plan, said the Car2Go decision is a frustrating step in the wrong direction. “It’s disappointing because we as a city are on a pathway to a 100 percent clean energy future and we can’t do it without converting our vehicles to electric,” she said. “This is a step backward, so we have to regroup and figure out some new solutions,” Capretz said.
The infrastructure to support plug-in cars is a critical issue all across America. Of all the major car manufacturers, only Tesla is aggressively pursuing a strategy to build fast charging stations all across America for its customers. Everyone else is hoping the government or private industry are going to supply the chargers their EV customers will need. What is happening in San Diego illustrates the problem with that approach.