The meaning of Southern California “car culture” may be poised for a makeover, as the regions around Los Angeles, long notorious for smog, traffic congestion and endless freeways race to take on a greener profile. LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced this week at the LA Auto Show that he’s shooting to have infrastructure ready for electric vehicles in the city by next fall, upgrading or installing 500 charging stations and setting aside up to $10 million to help pay for home charger installations for the first 5,000 residential customers, as the Los Angeles Times reports.
Villaraigosa’s plan comes as part of a larger effort to attract cleantech investment and manufacturers of batteries and charging stations to the area. Countless regions around the country are engaging in similar efforts, assembling juicy incentive packages for companies like A123Systems (s AONE), V-Vehicle and Tesla Motors. But Southern California is building momentum toward a significant role in the growing EV ecosystem: the launchpad, where some of the earliest plug-in vehicle models will roll out to customers, and where many of EV-related challenges for the power grid will be figured out.
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