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California Energy Commission launches $38M project for EV charging in low-income and disadvantaged communities

The California Energy Commission (CEC) is opening applications for $38 million in equity-focused incentives to fund publicly accessible electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in low-income and disadvantaged communities in 28 counties in northern and southern California.

The rebates are part of the California Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project (CALeVIP), the nation’s largest EV charging incentive initiative. This is the second phase of CALeVIP’s Golden State Priority Project, which offers funding for direct current fast charging (DCFC) stations. A first phase of incentives was offered earlier this year in California’s eastern and central regions.

Rebates are available for installations for DC fast chargers with a minimum of 150 kilowatts (kW) per connector by businesses, nonprofits, tribes and public entities. Eligible locations must be in disadvantaged and low-income communities as defined by the California Climate Investments Priority Populations Map.

Rebates for charging equipment can cover up to 50% of approved costs, capped at $50,000 for chargers ranging from 150 kW–274.99 kW per connector and up to $100,000 for 275 kW or more per connector.

The application window opens 13 September and closes 12 December 2023, at which point proposals will be reviewed and awards made based on meeting requirements and project readiness.

This charging station rebate opportunity comes as EV adoption continues to rise. One in four new cars sold last quarter in California was a zero-emission vehicle (ZEV). Earlier this year, the state surpassed its goal of selling 1.5 million ZEVs—a full two years ahead of schedule.

The first phase of the Golden State Priority Project opened in January 2023 with $30 million in funding for 30 counties in central and eastern regions of California. That project reserved $29.8 million to install more than 500 charging connections at a variety of locations in low-income and disadvantaged communities, according to the Center for Sustainable Energy(CSE), CALeVIP’s administrator.

CALeVIP addresses local and regional EV charging station needs and supports efforts to meet the state’s ZEV goals. Since 2017, CALeVIP has provided more than $223 million in funding for publicly available Level 2 and DC fast chargers throughout California.

CALeVIP funding comes from the CEC’s Clean Transportation Program, which is investing $1.4 billion through 2024 to speed up the build-out of the state’s ZEV infrastructure. The program is part of the $52-billion California Climate Commitment, which includes more than $10 billion for zero-emission cars, trucks, buses and infrastructure.


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