INGLEWOOD — The city is celebrating the launch of the first public electric vehicle fast chargers in downtown Inglewood.
City and state leaders joined executives from EVgo to unveil Inglewood’s first four public fast-charging electric vehicle stations off La Brea Avenue near City Hall Sept. 21.
The “Communities Charging for Change” event was a part of EVgo’s Equal Access Charging Hubs program, which is working to create more sustainable communities through public education and expanded access to electric vehicle fast charging.
The program’s goal is to provide access to electric vehicle fast-charging stations to people who live in apartment buildings or who don’t have charging stations at home or work.
“Anybody who lives in Inglewood knows that if you have to get on the 405 it’s not quick so having something in and around the community is really important to serve the (electric vehicle) drivers here,” said Jonathan Levy, vice president of strategic initiatives at EVgo.
Adrienne Chavez recently purchased a Tesla Model S and now she’s trying to convince her friend Odessa Johnson to go electric.
“First and foremost it’s best for the environment because we’re not relying on fossil fuels and so my grandkids and great-grandkids and future generations will have an earth to enjoy,” Chavez said. “Secondly, the ease of use. You don’t have to worry about getting gas, oil changes. It’s just a different type of lifestyle.”
Chavez’ friend is a bit more leery, but she’s quickly coming around to the idea of going electric.
“Even driving her car made a difference for me, she’s getting me there,” Johnson said. “These events help out a lot and bring me closer to making my decision.”
The charging stations will also help ride-share drivers who have elected to drive electric vehicles provide better service in Inglewood.
The four fast chargers are located in a city-owned parking lot next to the LA Philharmonic’s new YOLA Center, a block away from Market Street.
“What we see is, if you’re a grocery store, a retail chain, a strip mall, people park and they spend money in your (nearby) stores. It’s a great economic development opportunity,” Levy said. “For the city, it brings people to the library, to City Hall but also these local businesses and restaurants.”
“The nice thing about fast charging is … you’re talking about 30-45 minutes to get an 80-percent charge. Your car and the charger do the work while you do something else, grabbing food or walking around the block,” Levy said.
The event was part of National Drive Electric Week, allowing residents to test drive and ride along in electric vehicles to raise awareness by making drivers more comfortable with the idea and ease of use of an electric vehicle.
“There are disproportionately impacted communities from an air quality perspective and Inglewood is one of them,” Levy said. “If we can get high mileage drivers like ride-share drivers driving cleaner, it not only has that economic benefit for the ride share driver and the community but a huge environmental and air pollution improvements for the local community and the neighbors here.”
“The city of Inglewood is committed to offering all residents access to sustainable and environmentally-friendly energy alternatives,” Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr. said. “We are excited to partner with EVgo to provide Inglewood residents with access to public fast-charging EV hubs.”
Mayor Butts said he hopes the city’s next fast charging stations are placed near SoFi Stadium at the LA Sports and Entertainment District, where the Rams and Chargers are scheduled to begin playing next year.
By John W. Davis