About 50% of the energy used in our county goes to move people and goods. Transitioning to more efficient electric vehicles (EVs) and using renewable energy to charge these vehicles are central components of CEC’s plan to move the Santa Barbara region away from fossil fuels in one generation.

Santa Barbara is currently one of the top sales markets in the country for plug-in cars.  There are about a dozen models of all-electric and electric/gas plug-in hybrids available, and recent price drops, such as $199 per month leases, have helped make EVs affordable.

EVs are three times more efficient than vehicles with gas-burning combustion engines.  In addition, they are fueled by electricity, which in California is increasingly generated from renewable energy. And if the car is charged at home or office with rooftop solar, the owners are “driving on sunshine.”


Creating & Acting on Plans

In 2011, we helped form a coalition called C5 to develop an EV Readiness Plan for the Central Coast. Released in 2014, the plan details actions that need to be taken to make electric vehicles more mainstream in our region – including policy and infrastructure updates as well as public education and outreach initiatives. CEC’s work listed below all works toward these goals.

Building New Charging Stations 

The Central Coast now has over 300 public charging stations, and CEC is working with local cities and businesses to install new charging stations at ideal locations. While most charging is done overnight at home, a public charging network allows EV drivers to top off and drive more electric miles. Please contact us if you are interested in learning more about installing charging stations at your business.

Getting Local Government On Board 

CEC has worked with Southern California Edison to introduce government officials and community leaders to the challenges and opportunities our region will face as drivers begin to transition toward electric vehicles.

Making Buildings Plug-in Ready 

We are working with city planners, builders and architects to pre-wire new construction and major renovations so that buildings are “plug-in ready.”


Get to Know EVs  

Visit our Resources page for more information about EVs, or read our Choose Electric blog for stories from locals who have made the switch to a greener ride.

Attend a Green Car Show  

Take a test drive at one of CEC’s Green Car Shows where you’ll find the latest EV technologies all in one place.

Drive on Sunshine 

Learn how CEC’s Solarize Programs can help you install solar panels to power your home or business and your electric vehicle with the sun.

Share Your Story 

Already own an electric vehicle? We’re looking for personal stories and feedback. Contact Cameron Gray.