(TNS) — More than $15 million is being made available beginning Wednesday to help businesses, nonprofit organizations and government agencies cover some of the costs associated with installing electric vehicle charging stations for public use in San Joaquin, Fresno and Kern counties.

The San Joaquin Valley Incentive Project's aim is to promote easy access to electric vehicle infrastructure and increase charging accessibility.

Qualifying sites can apply for rebates to help cover eligible equipment and installation costs, with additional incentives for multi-unit dwellings and sites within a disadvantaged community. Those interested entities are encouraged to apply online at www.CALeVIP.org for the opportunity to receive up to $5,000 per Level 2 connector and up to $80,000 per DC fast charger.

The San Joaquin Valley Incentive Project is being implemented by the nonprofit Center for Sustainable Energy on behalf of and with funding from the California Energy Commission.

"The California Energy Commission is proud to provide funding to expand electric vehicle charging in the San Joaquin Valley," Energy Commissioner Patty Monahan said in a prepared statement.

"Focused investments like these are moving us beyond the usual early-adopter communities to help ensure all Californians can take part in the clean car revolution."

With more than 537,000 electric vehicles on California roadways, there are just slightly more than 700 public chargers in the region stretching from Lodi to Bakersfield. The San Joaquin Valley lacks the charging infrastructure needed to support existing electric vehicle drivers and encourage greater adoption.

California has set a goal of 5 million electric vehicles by 2030 and hopes to get there by supporting those vehicles with 250,000 chargers statewide. According to Veloz, a nonprofit that works to educate the public about the industry, there are currently an estimated 22,000 public chargers, so there is a long way to go to meet that goal.

There are two different technologies available. The fast chargers are most appropriate at locations such as shopping centers, service stations and public settings where electric vehicles would be parked for shorter durations of 10 minutes to one hour, according to Andy Hoskinson with the Center for Sustainable Energy in San Diego.

The Level 2 chargers are for locations such as city parks, museums, apartment complexes and even workplace parking lots where vehicles are parked for two or more hours.

By providing public electric vehicle charging, the Center for Sustainable Energy believes businesses can attract more customers, build customer loyalty and increase property values. Increasing charging accessibility also helps the state reach its ambitious goals to combat greenhouse gas emissions.

Said Hoskinson, the center's senior manager for electric vehicle initiatives: "More and more California car shoppers are choosing to buy or lease electric vehicles, making it increasingly important for public charging stations to be available at convenient locations. We are pleased to help close the gap in the demand for chargers for the residents of San Joaquin, Fresno and Kern counties."

©2019 The Record (Stockton, Calif.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.