GRID Alternatives Inland Empire (GRID IE) partnered with the Clean Vehicle Assistance Program (CVAP) to launch a tribal pilot program with the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians Tribe (TMDCI). The goal was to bring clean vehicle information and electric vehicle (EV) charging technology to the tribal members living on the remote reservation. In a funded partnership with the CVA Program, GRID IE created an educational outreach campaign and installed a level-2 EV charging station to demonstrate how easy clean vehicle adoption and EV charging is. The GRID IE tribal department collaborated with CVA and TMDCI leaders to raise awareness about the CVA Program which offers grants and affordable financing to help income-qualified Californians purchase or lease a new or used hybrid or electric vehicle.
In early April, the new EV charging station was celebrated with a small ribbon-cutting event. In attendance were GRID IE Executive Director Jaime Alonso, Tribal Manager Lisa Castilione, Communications Officer Natasha Ferguson, TMDCI Vice Chairman Joseph Mirelez and TMDCI Tribal Manager Joe Loya. This pilot program was funded through the CVA program. “We are really excited about this project. It has been a collaborative effort between tribal partners, Clean Vehicle Assistance Program and GRID staff. We are happy to be able to bring these resources to the Torres Martinez tribal reservation,” said GRID IE Executive Director Jaime Alonso.
Vice Chairman Joseph who has been instrumental in working with GRID staff to help bring projects such as this EV Charging Station to the Tribe. “This project is going to establish the importance of sustainability to tribal members in their day-to-day activities. The charging station is conveniently located in proximity to tribal housing, so they won’t have to drive far to charge their vehicles,” said Joseph. He expressed gratitude for the continued partnership with GRID and the impact it has had on their tribal community. “80% of the homes have been equipped with solar and we look forward to future projects such as senior housing, a health clinic, and setting up more arrays in areas to help tribal members save dollars and help the environment at the same time.”
GRID’s Tribal Program helps tribal communities become self-sustaining by providing resources to assist with their clean energy goals. For more information about GRID Alternatives Inland Empire, visit www.gridalternatives.org/ie or call 951-272-GRID (4743).