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California Energy Commission approves latest EV charging infrastructure assessment

The California Energy Commission approved the second Assembly Bill 2127 Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Assessment. Pursuant to AB 2127, the California Energy Commission is required to publish a biennial report on the charging infrastructure needed for California to meet its zero-emission vehicle targets by 2030.

The assessment projects how much publicly available charging infrastructure is needed to meet demand. The analysis presented in the report projects that California will need 1.01 million chargers (including 39,000 direct-current fast chargers) to support 7.1 million light-duty plug-in electric vehicles in 2030.

By 2035, the state will need 2.11 million chargers (including 83,000 direct-current fast chargers) to support 15.2 million light-duty plug-in electric vehicles.

To support medium- and heavy-duty plug-in electric vehicles, California will need about 114,500 chargers (109,000 depot chargers and 5,500 en route chargers) for 155,000 vehicles in 2030, and 264,000 chargers (256,000 depot chargers and 8,500 en route chargers) for 377,000 vehicles in 2035.

This expansion of charging will require widespread investment in the grid and effective management of California’s electrical grid to reduce potential impacts. Improving charger and vehicle technology along with grid upgrades will make it possible to accommodate charging in ways that will minimize the grid impact.

To improve the EV charging experience, the CEC is developing state regulations for charger reliability and reporting. A performance standard will apply to all new publicly funded infrastructure and the chargers will be required to disclose operational data to help drivers make more informed choices.

Installing these chargers will require investments in labor and workforce training and development, as up to 71,500 job-years will be needed for charger installation by 2035.

In 2023, 25% of new cars sold in California were zero-emission. The state surpassed both its zero-emission truck sales and vehicle sales goals two years ahead of schedule and surpassed its 10,000 fast EV chargers goal more than a year ahead of schedule.

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