In the smoggiest region of the country, there is much to be gained by promoting zero-emission transportation made possible with easy-to-charge electric vehicles.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) has upgraded its public and fleet plugin electric vehicle charging at its headquarters in Diamond Bar, California in eastern Los Angeles County. It has 20 Level 2 chargers and one direct current (DC) fast-charging station that are available to the public 24 hours a day, with no fee for using Level 2 chargers. In addition, SCAQMD has 13 Level 1 outlets and six Level 2 chargers for its demonstration fleet.

Level 1 charging systems use 110 volt power and typically provide 2 to 5 miles of range for each hour of charging. Level 2 charging systems use 208-240 volt power and typically provide 6 to 10 miles of range for each hour of charging for a passenger vehicle. DC fast charge systems typically provide 60 to 80 miles of range in just 20 minutes of charging.

Anticipating the increasing availability of new plug-in vehicles, SCAQMD leveraged $86,500 of its own funds, along with state and federal funding to upgrade its chargers. It is a project that started in 2011 and continues to evolve as new charging technologies become available. Other funding sources included American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds from the U.S. Department of Energy, and the California Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, created by Assembly Bill 118. There are future plans to add Level 1 chargers for employees. This continues SCAQMD’s pioneering efforts in offering plug-in electric vehicle charging at its facility since 1994.

SCAQMD, which is the air pollution control agency for the smoggiest region in the country, has much to gain by the adoption of zero emission vehicles (ZEVs). The district covers all of Orange County and urban portions of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Providing more opportunities for plug-in electric vehicle charging encourages more people to consider buying and driving ZEVs.

SCAQMD is working with multiple stakeholders to co-fund the installation of Level 2 and DC fast charging infrastructure throughout the South Coast Air Basin. These projects include the installation of 315 Level 2 chargers at public sites through the SoCalEV Ready program supported through an $840,750 AB 118 award from the Energy Commission and the installation of 20 DC fast chargers at supermarkets supported through a $300,000 AB 118 award from the Energy Commission.

See more information at the South Coast Air Quality Management District website.

Solar panels power and shade electric vehicles being charged Driver plugging in an electric vehicle Blink Electric Vehicle Charger

Photos courtesy of the South Coast Air Quality Management District



  • Accessible charging infrastructure demonstrates the feasibility of everyday use of plug-in electric vehicles, encouraging broader adoption of zero-emission vehicles.

  • Expanded charging options help California meet the Governor’s Zero Emission Vehicles Action Plan goal of having enough infrastructure in place to support 1 million ZEV vehicles by 2025.

  • Electric vehicles have no tailpipe emissions, so their use helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change and air pollution. The air district estimates that driving a Nissan Leaf or a Chevy Volt for 10,000 miles reduces greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 1,500 pounds.

  • The project allows the air district to learn first-hand about the opportunities and challenges of installing, using and maintaining EV charging equipment

Type of Project

Electric vehicle charging infrastructure


The charging upgrade, which started in 2011, is an ongoing project.


Map of Public  Electric Vehicle Charging at the South Coast Air Quality Management District in California


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Public Electric Vehicle Charging at the South Coast Air Quality Management District

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