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SDG&E backs charging roll-out for trucks

SDG&E CEO Caroline Winn makes the Jan 11 announcement.

California utility SDG&E has submitted a series of proposals to the local regulator that would see large charging infrastructure increased, as well as a solar-powered school bus pilot

California, already cemented as one of the global centres of EV innovation and adoption, is continuing to ensure its reputation is upheld. Indeed, utilities in the state are some of the most progressive in terms of their anticipation and encouragement of growing EV use.

In early 2017, three of the state’s biggest generators asked permission to collect around US$1 billion from their customers in order to support infrastructure expansion in California, including the building over 10,000 new charging stations.

Now one of the group, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), has submitted new plans for approval to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) which would see the company build enough infrastructure to support around 3,000 more medium and heavy-duty electric trucks.

It follows similar proposals submitted in early January to launch several pilot projects to install charging stations at the Port of San Diego, San Diego International Airport, Park & Ride lots, shuttle hubs and delivery fleet hubs.

If approved by the CPUC, SDG&E says the proposal would enable a far wider deployment of charging stations in the region, where more than 103,000 Class 2-8 commercial vehicles operate. It would also support further electrification of forklifts and refrigerated semi trailers, and an electric school bus pilot.

Under the latter initiative, e-bus batteries would be charged using solar energy during the day and discharge to meet higher demand on the power grid.

All told, the utility says over five years it could to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 42,000 tonnes per year.

“We are building momentum to achieve a cleaner, more sustainable future, as businesses, local government agencies and every day citizens embrace ambitious climate goals to clean up transportation,” Caroline Winn, SDG&E’s chief operating officer, said. “We live in an exciting time because technological barriers are disappearing, and it’s now feasible for vehicles and equipment that transport people and goods to be powered by new electricity and natural gas engine technology, which is much cleaner than conventional gasoline and diesel engine technology.”

SDG&E says the scheme is supported by key logistics and service providers including Amazon, North County Transit District, Sierra Club, Ace Parking, Sysco and the San Diego Air Pollution Control District.

 

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