Love at First Spark: Electric Vehicles Sizzle with Clean, Green Solar Power at IBEW Local 569’s San Diego Training Center

On Friday, July 22nd, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 569 was joined by State Senator Christine Kehoe, 39th District, business, environmental and veteran partners to unveil a new solar-powered electric vehicle charging station at the San Diego Electrical Training Center that is available to the local community for free public use.

As one of the national test cities chosen for the Department of Energy’s “EV Project,” San Diego will see thousands of charging units installed in homes and businesses over the next two years funded by grants from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This infusion of electric vehicle charging infrastructure is creating much-needed green jobs for IBEW 569 electricians at a time when California continues to struggle from the effects of the Great Recession.

IBEW Local 569 Business Manager Johnny Simpson:

The electric vehicle industry is a win-win for IBEW 569 members, the environment and our national security. It’s putting our members to work, helping to reduce harmful air pollution and transitioning us away from dependence on foreign oil. Local 569 is especially proud of our new charging station at the San Diego Electrical Training Center which is powered by an 89 kW rooftop solar system. It’s available for the community to use, at no cost, to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and spread the word that when it comes to electric vehicles, IBEW is leading the charge.

In addition to creating jobs, electric cars are helping to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. To highlight that point, the San Diego Chapter of the Sierra Club joined Local 569 to show off the new EV charging unit.

Chapter Chair Carolyn Chase:

The transportation sector is a significant cause of global warming and local smog and asthma-related pollutants. Electric vehicles are a critical part of an overall clean transportation solution which translates into cleaner communities, green job growth and reducing our dependence on polluting fossil fuels.

But if union jobs and a clean environment aren’t enough, there are also the energy security benefits of electric vehicles.

Lance Corporal Brian P. VanRiper, USMC (honorably discharged in 2004) represents Operation Free, a national coalition of veteran, environmental organizations, national security experts and retired military personnel working to secure America with clean energy.

As a veteran, I’ve seen firsthand that America’s addiction to fossil fuels is not just about public health or climate change, it is also an issue of national security. The time is now to claim America’s energy independence and electric vehicles are a critical part of that mission.

At a time when our nation struggles with the enormous challenges of rising gas prices, climate disasters and lingering unemployment, union electricians, veterans and environmentalists agree: electric vehicles are helping to move San Diego forward.