June 23, 2022 3:37 PM
As Santa Monica moves forward with its recovery, a range of new and expanding businesses are opening in Santa Monica and shaping the City’s transportation sector, from cutting-edge mobility operators and delivery models to an increased presence of electric vehicles and charging stations. The City of Santa Monica is a national leader in sustainability, and supports the electrification of all mobility options as a key way to reduce carbon emissions.
The City continues to assert itself as a center for green innovation and is a thriving landscape for the testing and implementation of transportation and mobility technologies. Growth in these sectors also supports reaching city-wide sustainability goals such as being carbon neutral by 2050 or sooner.
“The wave of new businesses across the mobility sector demonstrates Santa Monica’s continued commitment to developing innovative solutions that tackle today’s challenges,” said the City’s EV Programs Coordinator Ariana Vito. “As a leader in sustainability, Santa Monica is a coveted location for companies to study the integration of new technologies with consumer demand.”
In addition to advancing local and national emission reduction goals, the integration of new technologies within Santa Monica’s transportation network also promotes economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The range of mobility options we offer supports employees as they return to work,” said Santa Monica’s Economic Development Manager Jennifer Taylor. “New delivery models ensure local companies stay relevant and competitive as demand for e-commerce and food delivery rises.”
The range of companies with an added presence in Santa Monica include:
Micro-mobility brand, Veo, recently announced Santa Monica as the company’s west coast headquarters. Veo plans to add 300 new employees, the majority of whom will be hired locally by the end of 2022. Veo is one of four private companies permitted to operate a variety of different mobility devices through March 30, 2023 as part of the City of Santa Monica’s Shared Mobility Pilot Program. As part of the program, the micro-mobility services available include Veo’s 2-wheeled standup e-scooters and Class 2 e-bikes.
Acclaimed Dutch electric bike manufacturer VanMoof has added a showroom at 412 Broadway in Downtown Santa Monica. The company’s industry-leading urban e-bikes boast new technology for enhanced performance features and anti-theft guarantees.
•Leon Cycle USA
Founded in 2014, Leon Cycle is one of the largest Pedelec (Pedal Electric Cycle) and e-bike brands in Europe. In March, the company opened a showroom at 2803 Main St. in Santa Monica.
Last-mile and container-based delivery firm, URB-E, launched service in Santa Monica as part of the country’s first Zero Emission Delivery Zone pilot program. The program provides priority curb space in a one-square mile test zone in Downtown Santa Monica and along Main Street to test the deployment, implementation and utilization of various types of light-duty zero emission transportation technologies. Ten URB-E e-bikes will service businesses along Santa Monica Boulevard and Colorado Boulevard, with plans to expand the pilot to 20 URB-E vehicles in the near future.
Motional, the autonomous vehicle venture between Hyundai Motor Group and technology firm Aptiv, has partnered with Uber Eats to pilot autonomous deliveries for customers in Santa Monica. Motional’s all-electric IONIQ 5 vehicles, operating autonomously under the supervision of two safety drivers in each vehicle, will be able to conduct end-to-end food deliveries. The pilot will serve to develop an automated delivery model that could potentially scale to more areas across Los Angeles and in other cities.
Remotely-piloted robot delivery service Coco partners with restaurants and markets to make local deliveries affordable and sustainable. Fifty pound pink delivery bots are equipped with GPS tracking and two-way microphones, controlled by a remote human pilot. Since launching in Santa Monica amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the company has quickly expanded operations in neighborhoods throughout the city.
Electric Vehicles and Charging Stations
The electric car company is expected to open a showroom in Santa Monica Place in 2022, which will be one of only three VinFast storefronts in California and the company’s first retail outlets in the world outside of its headquarters in Vietnam.
Tesla opened an electric vehicle showroom in Santa Monica Place in 2020, which also houses a supercharging station. The company recently opened its second supercharging station in the city at 1421 Santa Monica Boulevard with 26 V3 stalls available. The second phase of the project, which began earlier this year, is expected to bring the total number of charging stalls to 62, making it the largest V3 supercharging station in the world. Tesla is also expanding operations in Santa Monica with a new facility at 11th and Colorado.
•City EV Infrastructure
The increased presence of charging stations is part of the City of Santa Monica’s Electric Vehicle Action Plan which was adopted in 2017 to focus on expanding the city’s public network of charging ports. There are currently over 150 public charging stations, including standard level 2, solar-powered, and fast charging stations located in city parking facilities, parks, and curbside locations. An additional 24 EVgo fast chargers will open this year and over 20 chargers are pending through the Southern California Edison Charge Ready program.
These companies are joining an impressive roster of acclaimed sustainability businesses operating in Santa Monica, including 11 certified B corporations and 70 Green Certified Businesses demonstrating high social and environmental performance. This year, eight businesses were recognized by the Santa Monica Sustainable Quality Awards for significant achievements in sustainable economic development, social responsibility and stewardship of the natural environment.
Public Information Coordinator