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California utilities submit projects to CPUC to expand EV infrastructure, adoption and awareness

Three investor-owned California utilities—Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)—have submitted applications to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) outlining programs and investments aimed at achieving multiple electric transportation and emission-reduction goals set by the governor and state agencies.

The applications filed demonstrate the utilities’ support of the objectives in Senate Bill 350 (De León) [Chapter 547, Statutes of 2015] which called upon utilities “to file applications for programs and investments to accelerate widespread transportation electrification to reduce dependence on petroleum, meet air quality standards, achieve the goals set forth in the Charge Ahead California Initiative, and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.”

PG&E’s proposal is aimed at accelerating widespread EV adoption and combatting climate change by reducing greenhouse-gas emissions related to transportation. For the seven proposed projects, PG&E is requesting a total budget of approximately $253 million.

PG&E addresses three specific areas:

  1. Expanding the electrification for fleets with medium- and heavy-duty vehicles including school buses, transit agencies and delivery fleets that often use diesel, a highly polluting fuel. To address air pollution issues in the state, PG&E suggests a five-year project with a budget of $211 million that would build “make-ready” electric infrastructure for medium- to heavy-duty and off-road fleets.

  2. Responding to consumer demand for fast-charging stations, PG&E proposes to complement state and privately funded fast charger deployments with new electric infrastructure. In prior years, this type of infrastructure has been slow to develop due to the high costs and complexity of installations. The company’s five-year,$22 million recommendation includes offering a significant rebate toward the purchase of a fast charger for sites in disadvantaged communities. PG&E will utilize the findings from a new report and interactive map developed in partnership with the University of California, Davis to support and facilitate the installation of fast chargers in Northern and Central California.

  3. Exploring new uses for vehicle electrification through five, one-year projects for an overall budget of $20 million. These include a range of projects for both consumers and heavier-duty vehicles and focus on: simplifying charging for residential customers; exploring commercial smart vehicle charging; and requesting third parties to submit potential electrification projects to the company.

SDG&E is proposing to install tens of thousands of EV charging stations in new, key areas to help accelerate the transition to electric transportation. The proposals include:

  1. Installation of up to 90,000 charging stations at single family homes throughout the company’s service area;

  2. Installation of up to 45 charging ports to enable electrification of approximately 90 new pieces of ground support equipment at San Diego International Airport;

  3. Installation of several electric vehicle charging stations and research meters to study the charging habits of heavy and medium-duty electric trucks and forklifts at the Port of San Diego;

  4. Installation of grid-integrated charging stations for about 90 fleet delivery vehicles at approximately six business locations;

  5. Grid-integrated charging infrastructure to four Park-and-Ride locations;

  6. Incentives to purchase electric taxis and shuttles and install charging stations at five locations frequently traveled by taxis, shuttles and rideshare vehicles. 50 EV drivers from rideshare companies would receive fueling credits on their electric bills;
  7. EV educational programs and financial incentives for the sale of EVs.

SCE is proposing a portfolio of projects tailored to meet the needs of its customers. In addition to innovative programs for passenger vehicle adoption, SCE is proposing to install charging infrastructure for heavy commercial and industrial vehicles at ports, warehouses, and along its freeways. These projects will benefit all SCE customers, with a particular focus on disadvantaged communities, often located along transportation corridors, that are disproportionately affected by pollution and economic hardship.

Southern California Edison’s filing lays out a clear plan to accelerate the adoption of electric transportation, which is critical to California achieving its climate change and environmental goals. The benefits of electric vehicles are growing, but barriers to their adoption still exist—and utilities and other market participants have a clear role to play in overcoming those barriers.

—Ron Nichols, President of SCE

California’s three investor-owned utilities are committed to electric vehicles and the environmental and economic benefits of shifting to electricity as a transportation fuel. This commitment is essential to the state’s efforts to protect public health and economic prosperity. Utility support ensures that the transition to electric transportation results in efficient management of the grid and renewable resources, as well as safe, reliable and affordable electricity for all.

—Eileen Wenger Tutt, Executive Director of the California Electric Transportation Coalition

Governor Brown and the Legislature recognize that utilities’ involvement is necessary to achieve the goal of Executive Order B-16-2012, which calls for 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on California roads by 2025, and zero-emission vehicle infrastructure able to support 1 million vehicles by 2020.


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