Association of
Bay Area Governments
Bay Area Air Quality Management District Bay Conservation and Development Commission Metropolitan Transportation Commission
Preserving the Bay Area's quality
of life through collaborative planning

Project Website

MTC is partnering with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and the Association of Bay Area Governments to develop an electric vehicle (EV) strategy for the Bay Area. Included in that strategy is a promotional campaign that aims to build awareness and demand for plug-in electric (PEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) in the Bay Area. The Bay Area EV campaign will also promote high-tech innovation and green culture in the Bay Area.

On September 11, 2013, MTC approved a $845,000 contract with the California Center for Sustainable Energy to lead the EV promotional campaign. By offering free, interactive Ride-and-Drive events at venues around the Bay Area, the campaign will allow drivers to test-drive EVs and share their experience via social media, in an environment free from the sales pressure of a traditional showroom. About 6,500 drivers are predicted to participate in a series of two dozen Ride-and-Drive events from February through July, 2014.

The Bay Area is already a regional hub for EVs. Of the 34,019 electric vehicles registered with California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Program, more than one-third are owned by Bay Area residents. Converting even 500 more drivers to EVs will lead to additional benefits for the region, including reducing carbon emissions by over 3,300 tons each year.

There are, of course, persistent barriers to electric vehicle adoption in the Bay Area. Initial market research by MTC and BAAQMD showed that one major factor is the public’s lack of meaningful experience with EVs, an impediment that the promotional campaign seeks to address. Other barriers include the electric capacity of local towns, and the availability of charging stations. These additional issues are being addressed by BAAQMD, which has been analyzing the region’s EV readiness in order to make recommendations for future enhancements, including improvements to the charger network.

In addition to working with MTC, BAAQMD and the EV Strategic Council, the California Center for Sustainable Energy will collaborate with Plug-in America and Charge Across Town to roll out this campaign.