Utility has suggested large-scale projects in fleet electrification, new fast charging and more
San Francisco-headquartered Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has submitted a proposal to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for projects aimed at accelerating widespread electric vehicle adoption.
For seven proposed projects, PG&E is requesting a total budget of approximately US$253 million. The California legislature has recognised the role of energy companies, like PG&E, in developing the necessary electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure to help the state meet climate and clean-air goals.
“California continues to lead the nation in the fight against climate change, and electrifying our transportation sector is the next game changer. By expanding the state’s EV infrastructure, PG&E is continuing to help California meet its climate goals while making it more convenient for our customers to choose clean, affordable electricity to fuel their vehicles,” said PG&E president of Electric, Geisha Williams.
At nearly 40% of emissions, transportation is the single largest contributor to greenhouse gas output in the state.
PG&E’s proposal addresses three specific areas. The first is expanding electrification for fleets with medium- and heavy-duty vehicles including school buses, transit agencies and delivery fleets that often use diesel. PG&E has suggested a five-year project with a budget of US$211 million that would build “make-ready” electric infrastructure for medium- to heavy-duty and off-road fleets.
Fast-charging stations, which can refuel EVs in 20-30 minutes, have also been proposed. In prior years, this type of infrastructure has been slow to develop due to the high costs and complexity of installations. The company’s five-year US$22 million recommendation includes offering a significant rebate toward the purchase of a fast charger for sites in disadvantaged communities.
PG&E will draw on the findings from a new report and interactive map developed in partnership with the University of California, Davis to support and facilitate the installation of fast chargers in Northern and Central California.
It also plans to explore new uses for vehicle electrification through five, one-year projects for an overall budget of US$20 million. These include a range of projects for both consumers and heavier-duty vehicles and focus on: simplifying charging for residential customers; exploring commercial smart vehicle charging; and requesting third parties to submit potential electrification projects to the company.
The proposals follow the launch of a new EV rebate scheme. Under the Clean Fuel Rebate, PG&E residential customers with active electric service who own or lease a battery EV or plug-in hybrid EV can apply for a one-time rebate of US$500 starting in January 2017.