The rise of electric vehicles in the Tahoe-Truckee Region has begun.
Situated between Interstate 80 and U.S. Highway 50, the region is poised to become an electric highway in the sky, connecting to and from the Bay Area, Reno, and beyond. Local adoption of electric vehicles has outpaced hybrid vehicles when they were first released in the early 2000s.
To plan for an electrified future, TRPA and Truckee Donner Public Utility District released a plug-in electric vehicle plan earlier this year.
Developed with many community partners and funding from the California Energy Commission, the plan is designed to improve the Tahoe-Truckee region’s readiness for electric vehicles with better vehicle-charging infrastructure, streamlined permitting, incentives, and public outreach.
Electric vehicle technology is advancing at a rapid pace. Most major vehicle manufacturers plan to have electric options within the next five years. With more model options and decreasing prices, demand and use of electric vehicles will rapidly increase in the next decade, experts predict.
Planning for increasing demand and future vehicle technology is critical to serve the needs of the public. In addition, the environmental benefits of electric vehicles include a reduction in air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and the amount of dripping oil and gas that can reach Lake Tahoe. Demand for charging infrastructure at Tahoe is unique and must serve both residents and visitors through a combination of home, workplace, destination, and recreation sites.
The region is rapidly expanding its plug-in electric vehicle charging infrastructure with dozens of new charging locations added in the past year. As more charging stations become available, drivers will no longer have to worry about running out of power or not finding a charging location.
This fall, the Nevada Chapter of the American Planning Association recognized the Tahoe-Truckee Plug-In Electric Vehicle Readiness Plan with awards for most outstanding plan and most outstanding public outreach. The awards were presented as part of the group’s annual DeBoer Awards program.
Whether you own an electric vehicle or might consider it for your next vehicle, visit tahoealternativefuels.com to learn more about charging stations, vehicle technology, rebates, and more.
Devin Middlebrook, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency
From the Winter 2017 edition of Tahoe In Depth