The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) recently adopted a five-year, statewide, $1-billion transportation electrification program. The decision provides a unified policy-driven funding structure for utility transportation electrification efforts through 2030, and prioritizes investments in charging infrastructure for low-income, tribal, and underserved utility customers.
Under the decision, 70% of the funds will go towards charging for medium-and heavy-duty vehicles, which are responsible for a disproportionate share of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and other air pollutants from the transportation sector, and 30% will go towards light-duty charging at or near multi-unit dwellings.
The program offers rebates for customer-side (“behind-the-meter”) EV infrastructure investments at commercial, industrial, and residential sites beginning in 2025 and provides higher rebates for projects in underserved, disadvantaged, and tribal communities to ensure charging infrastructure reaches these hard-to-reach communities.
This action resolves the transportation policy framework that has been in development since 2020. The decision also furthers the integration of EVs as an energy resource that can help meet the needs of the grid by developing a strategy for promoting vehicle-grid integration.
To ensure the program continues to meet policy goals and meets equity targets, the decision directs the investor-owned utilities to host annual roundtables and workshops to discuss potential program modifications with stakeholders and CPUC staff.
The CPUC is undertaking multiple efforts to promote EV adoption and infrastructure, including adopting rules to ensure that customers installing EV chargers do not have to wait unreasonable times to interconnect to the grid. In the proceeding to modernize the electric grid for a high distributed energy resources future, the CPUC is overseeing the investor-owned utilities’ plans to upgrade the distribution grid to meet the new load EV charging will create.
Additionally, the CPUC’s Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) proceeding, which ensures sufficient electric generation and transmission capacity to meet reliability and GHG reduction goals, is planning for increasingly high penetrations of electric vehicles to guide procurement and infrastructure decisions.