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Southern California Edison proposes $760M Charge Ready 2 program to expand electric vehicle infrastructure

Two years ago, Southern California Edison launched Charge Ready, a pilot program to increase the availability of charging for passenger electric vehicles. After having recently installed Charge Ready’s 1,000th EV charging station, SCE has filed a plan with the California Public Utilities Commission to expand the program to support the installation of 48,000 more charging ports.

The proposed $760-million program would continue over four years.

Achieving California’s ambitious goals for reducing air pollution and harmful greenhouse gas emissions will require 7 million electric cars on California highways by 2030. Taking Charge Ready to the next level will allow SCE to develop charging infrastructure needed to support a big portion of those cars.

—Caroline Choi, SCE senior vice president for Regulatory Affairs

Charge Ready will increase the availability of EV charging stations where people park their cars for extended periods of time, such as workplaces, campuses, recreational areas and multi-unit dwellings.

SCE installs and maintains the supporting EV charging infrastructure and provides rebates to reduce charging station costs, while participants typically own, operate and maintain qualified charging stations.

Demand for the pilot program has been high, with an expected 1,250 charging stations at more than 60 different locations at the pilot’s conclusion this year.

Most of the charging stations added during Charge Ready’s pilot phase have been installed in workplaces, schools and universities, hospitals, destination centers and fleet yards. But in the second phase, SCE wants to make a more concerted effort to increase the number of chargers available in apartment and condominium complexes as well.

Another goal is to install at least 30% of charging stations in communities that are disproportionately affected by pollution and economic hardship. More than half of all charging stations added during the pilot phase were in such communities.

With the approval of the second phase of Charge Ready, SCE also plans to launch a marketing and customer education campaign to increase EV awareness.

SCE is also launching a number of other approved Charge Ready-branded pilots and programs that support medium- and heavy-duty trucks, transit buses, port equipment and other industrial vehicles, as well as public and home-based charging for cars.



$760 million / 48 thousand = $15,833 apiece.

That is very pricey.  Any reasonable effort should be aiming for $1500 at most.


EV charging facilities cost depend on charging rates and adjacent e-energy availability. High capacity (150 to 450 KW) units can cost many times more than very slow charge Level II units.


Apartments and condos will not be installing 150 kW units.  They'll be putting in Level 2 systems, 240 VAC @ 30 A maximum (and very likely a fair amount less; lots will probably be 208 VAC).  A 150 kW connection would serve at least 20 such chargers.  It would serve 100 Level 1 chargers.


Professional Level II units installation in large internal garages in our condo cost between $6.5K to 11.5K (with separate small meter). The problem with separate meters is a double monthly meter charge of about $40/month.

Splitting the load on existing meters could avoid the extra meter and associated monthly meter charge (where it is admissible).

For safety and security reasons, all exposed cables must be protected + larger (more costly) cable size for distances above 100 ft. That would be required for over 66% in our place.

The charger cost has to be added.

Professional Level II units installation in large internal garages in our condo cost between $6.5K to 11.5K (with separate small meter).

That's when you're installing them one at a time.  You can get a 150 kVa transformer for as little as $1200.  That puts the per-unit cost of 20 Level 2 chargers at about $60 for the transformer.  If you're running conduit for 20 spaces at a time, it costs a lot less per-unit than singletons.  Wall-mount 480-208 V 30 kVa transformers are under $1000; that would let you run 480 3φ up to within a few feet of the parking space and slash the length of the final wiring run.  One transformer for 5 spaces runs that part up to a whole $200 per slot.  Chargepoint 2-port non-networked charger, $6700 serving 2 vehicles.  That total comes a long way from $15k.

I've purchased and run wiring in conduit; it cost nothing like that, even running 12-gauge copper.  Even running underground wiring wouldn't cost anything close to that, since you can drill the long runs instead of having to trench.  Those prices are proof that someone is gouging.


In our area, this type of work is restricted to highly unionized master electricians @ $65+/hour + another $35+/hour for associated management fees, insurance, retirement fund, health/accident insurance, holiday pay and minimum 17% benefits. The current subsidy is limited to $2.5K per installation.

Of course, if you could re-group all 140+ internal garage space users into one contract you could reduce average per unit cost. So far, I could only get 5 co-owners (far apart parking) interested. Four people with PHEVs rather steal energy (from the building) with long extension cables for their Level I slow charger. That unfair toleration will be stopped shortly.


Said "unfair toleration", at QH prices, is costing almost nothing and returning substantial benefits in the form of cleaner air.

Even at $100/hr for the master electrician, most of the scut work of bending conduit and anchoring boxes and transformers could be done by much cheaper construction labor.  Your entire garage could be wired with 480 V 3φ running to wall-attached boxes, perhaps on mounting plates ready to receive transformers, for probably a fraction of $2500 per space.  You'd install transformers and chargers and reshuffle parking assignments as people bought PEVs.  Installing chargers in blocks of 4-6, each block powered by its own step-down transformer, would keep the cost down.  It would be even better if there was a standard installation kit which came factory-wired and ready to bolt to the wall, with the master electrician only being needed to hook it up.

The only reason these things cost so much is that they're done (a) as retrofits (b) in ones and twos.  Much cheaper wholesale and up front.


I understand what you're saying E-P. However, it would be almost impossible to re-shuffle internal parking places to regroup PHEVs/BEVs owners together to save on charging facilities.

Nobody (almost all co-owners) will not cooperate.

There is a strong possibility that grants will be increased to $4k or $5k by end of this year. Most co-owners will want to wait for a few more months.

The arrival of H2 stations and long range all weather FCEVs may be another solution.


People won't cooperate?  That's what laws are for.  Forcibly re-assign their parking.  If the best parking goes to the people who electrify first, you'll get a rush to buy PEVs!


Laws are very different North of the Border.

Condo administration do not have the legal right nor the authority to reshuffle internal parking spaces. Any local court could/would stop it.

One way to ease the process may be to offer electrified vehicle users the very worse smaller spaces and ICEV users the larger/best places in exchange. However, those very bad places are not re-grouped and are often very far apart. Net gain could be zero.

Another way may be to monetize the exchange. Something like $10K per parking may be enough but that would negate the process and cost even more.

We will continue with our excellent HEVs and probably go for extended range all weather FCEVs when enough H2 stations are in operation.


Harvey, if the law authorizing subsidies for PEV charger installations also required re-allocation of assigned parking if needed to make it economic, the courts would have their hands tied.


Our courts are not very money oriented, however they could set a reasonable exchange price between equal size places? Parking place reshuffle would have a very low priority and it would take years/decades before it is ruled on. Any/all co-owners affected could challenge and it could take another decade or so.

The future looks better. The building codes have been upgraded. All new condos have to be equipped with appropriate outlets for Level I & II chargers. Older existing condos are the problem. Not all are equipped with large enough main transformers to take more than 20/25 BEVs unless charging is timed/restricted for night use only.


You don't have to restrict to night only.  You can also have the chargers restrict to Level 1 when there isn't adequate capacity to run all-out.  Allocating available transformer capacity requires some upstream smarts I've not seen yet, but the J1772 protocol supports everything you need between charger and vehicle.


No doubt that better load control and/or load sharing will/could make better use of existing electrical facilities. Many large condos are equipped with oversized main transformers for cold winter days.

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