Editor’s Note: Climate Week NYC 2020 kicked off Monday, Sept. 21, in New York alongside the annual General Assembly of the United Nations; bringing together business, government and civic leaders from around the world to showcase climate action. In recognition of Climate Week, we are taking this time to reflect on the role our company – and the energy industry – plays in building a clean energy economy that is also just and equitable.
In the coming days, we will continue to publish a series of articles exploring climate action and connections across multiple areas, explaining what progress we have made in each of those areas. Along the way, we will also provide resources for our customers and readers to enable them to make a difference in their daily lives.
Day 2 of Climate Week: Reimagining Transportation
On top of being a major source of air pollution, transportation is also the single largest producer of carbon emissions, both in our region and throughout California. To help reduce transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions, we are partnering with local organizations to support alternative ways to get around, as well as facilitating the transition to zero-emission electric vehicles.
Community Electric Bicycle Incubator Program
Today, as we mark "National Bike to Work Day," we are pleased to announce our support of the San Diego-based nonprofit Rider Safety Visibility (RSV), which is launching a community electric bicycle initiative in partnership with San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher and Uptown Bicycles. Called Pedal Ahead, the program will make available 200 electric bikes for participants in Fletcher’s District 4 for getting to work, school and other daily activities. The program will also provide young adults with training in traditional bicycle and e-bike repair and maintenance, along with mentorships and internships.
RSV has worked with leaders in the bicycle industry to develop a curriculum to include small business entrepreneurship, marketing and sales. Through a network of partners in local and national bicycling industries, the program will also provide additional opportunities for young adults to gain real-world work experience and participate in group rides and events that support the E-bike incubator program.
The Pedal Ahead program was made possible in part by a $200,000 grant. RSV received the grant from The San Diego Foundation COVID-19 Community Response Fund – in large part due to funding support from SDG&E. To date, SDG&E has donated $2 million to the Fund with plans to donate an additional million in 2021.
Wider Electrification of the Transportation Sector
Traveling by bikes – whether electrical or mechanical – is one way to reduce carbon emissions. Another tactic to diminish emissions is to make the switch to electric vehicles.
To facilitate this transition to zero-emission transportation, SDG&E has been working aggressively to expand the charging network in our region. To date, we have built more than 3,000 chargers at workplaces, apartments and condo complexes. In the coming years, we will be adding more chargers to support electric trucks, transit buses, school buses, shuttles, and other types of medium and heavy-duty vehicles and equipment, as well as expanding charging for passenger vehicles to parks, schools, and beaches.
To learn more, please visit the Pedal Ahead website: https://www.pedalaheadsd.org/.
EV-curious or in the market for new wheels? Visit the California Clean Vehicle Rebate Project to see what incentives are available to offset the purchase price for EVs: https://cleanvehiclerebate.org/eng/eligible-vehicles.