SDG&E seeks approval to build charging infrastructure to support ~3,000 medium/heavy electric vehicles
Under a proposal submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) this week, San Diego-based SDG&E is seeking approval to build charging infrastructure to enable about 3,000 medium/heavy-duty vehicles to go electric. To clean up the air in areas suffering from the highest levels of tailpipe emissions, 40% of the installations will be targeted for vehicles and equipment that are based in or travel through disadvantaged communities.
This new proposal comes on the heels of SDG&E receiving unanimous support and approval from the CPUC on 11 January to proceed with several pilot projects to install charging stations at the Port of San Diego, San Diego International Airport, Park & Ride lots, shuttle hubs and delivery fleet hubs.
If approved by the CPUC, the new proposal would enable a much wider deployment of charging stations in the region, which is home to more than 103,000 Class 2 through Class 8 commercial vehicles, including trucks that operate around the congested ports of entry along the US-Mexico border. These vehicles range in weight from 6,000 pounds to more than 33,000 pounds. In California, Class 2–8 vehicles produce more particulate matter than all of the state’s power plants combined and can cause or worsen asthma and other health conditions.
The application would also support the electrification of forklifts and refrigerated semi-truck trailers, which are vital for moving and delivering perishable goods. If approved by the CPUC, the program would be implemented over five years and is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 42,000 metric tons per year, equivalent to avoiding the use of more than 4.7 million gallons of gasoline.
SDG&E’s proposal was developed under Senate Bill 350 (SB 350), which recognizes that widespread transportation electrification is required to meet the state’s goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 4% below 1990 levels by 2030 and to 8% below 1990 levels by 2050.
Organizations offering support for this proposal include the Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce, UC San Diego, Amazon, North County Transit District, Sierra Club, Ace Parking, Sysco and the San Diego Air Pollution Control District.
One cutting-edge element of the proposal is an electric school bus vehicle-to-grid pilot. Under the pilot, bus batteries would charge when energy is plentiful—such as during the day when there is abundant solar power—and discharge the energy when there is high demand on the power grid.
As part its Power Your Drive Program, SDG&E continues to make progress installing up to 3,500 charging stations at multi-family homes and businesses.