Charging forward into a new year, UCLA Transportation is supporting the transition to an electrified future, releasing its first-ever EV Readiness Plan for the university.

The plan provides a framework to increase the number of electric vehicles commuting to campus, complete the UCLA fleet’s transition to primarily zero-emission vehicles —including a fully electrified BruinBus system — and support these goals through expanded charging capacity. The plan advances UCLA’s existing electrification initiatives.

Currently, 40% of California’s carbon footprint comes from transportation. Los Angeles’ air is unhealthy, and the main culprit is the internal combustion engines in the 12 million vehicles crowding Southern California roadways, emitting pollution — the worst in the nation, according to spring 2022 reports by the American Lung Association and air-quality monitoring firm IQAir.

“Lessening dependence on traditional gasoline and shifting to electric vehicles is critical to saving the climate, improving public health and meeting the sustainability objectives UCLA has set for commuting and the campus fleet,” said Dave Karwaski, UCLA Transportation’s director of mobility planning and traffic systems. 

A strong objective of the plan is raising awareness about the benefits of EV ownership, from rebates and incentives available towards a purchase to easier and less expensive operation and maintenance. Another objective is informing the campus community about the number and location of charging stations available on campus, assisting commuters — particularly those, such as employees, who travel to campus regularly — and meanwhile helping the university lower costs and lessen environmental impact. Encouraging an EV boom and reaching the plan’s goal of 5% EV commuters by 2025 could reduce emissions by more than 2,500 metric tons annually.  

The UCLA fleet is already headed toward its target of 50% zero-emission vehicles, and the new plan specifies that all new vehicles procured for the fleet — including six new BruinBuses — must be hybrid or all-electric.

Getting the campus ready for an influx of incoming EVs requires building out the infrastructure. This includes providing spaces within every campus zone to meet resident, commuter, visitor and fleet clean power needs, with almost 1,000 charging points by 2025.

Complimentary Level 1 and Level 2 chargers will be made available to anyone who purchases a permit to park on campus, including visitors. Fast-charging Level 3 chargers, which can deliver 60 to 80 miles of range in 20 minutes, will be offered for a fee.

The plan syncs with the department’s previously released Sustainable Transportation Plan, the UCLA Sustainability Plan published last year, University of California sustainable transportation policies and California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive order requiring that by 2035, all new cars and passenger trucks sold in the state be zero-emission vehicles.