Pacific Gas and Electric Company announced at the start of June that it received approval from the California Public Utilities Commission to develop two new, five-year programs aimed at accelerating widespread electric vehicle adoption and combating climate change.
The new programs will increase fast charging options for consumers as well as electric charging infrastructure for non-light-duty fleet vehicles. PG&E will pay for and aid installation of the infrastructure from the electric grid to the charger. Through these new programs, PG&E expands its initiatives to help customers reduce emissions related to transportation, which is the single largest contributor to greenhouse-gas emissions in the state.
“California continues to lead the nation in the fight against climate change and transforming our transportation sector is critical to these efforts. Through these new programs, PG&E demonstrates our continued commitment to help California meet its climate and clean air goals while making it more convenient for consumers, public agencies and businesses to choose clean, affordable electricity to fuel their vehicles,” said Geisha Williams, CEO and President of PG&E Corporation.
Responding to consumer demand, PG&E’s Fast Charge Program will pay for and build the infrastructure from the electric grid to the charging equipment for public fast chargers, complementing state and privately-funded initiatives. Twenty-five percent of the fast chargers will be located in disadvantaged communities. Additionally, PG&E will offer a significant rebate towards the purchase of fast chargers for customers based in those areas.
Public fast charging is critical to increasing EV adoption as it builds driver confidence in their ability to charge away from home and provides access to drivers who do not have residential charging. Fast chargers can refuel an EV in 20-30 minutes, compared to level 2 chargers that fuel a car in several hours. However, fast charging infrastructure has been slower to develop due to the high costs and complexity of installations. This year, California Governor Jerry Brown set a target of installing 10,000 fast charging stations statewide by 2030, a tenfold increase over current levels.
To address air pollution issues impacted by diesel use in the state, PG&E will launch a new program for customers with medium-duty, heavy-duty and off-road fleets. Through the FleetReady program, PG&E will pay for and help customers install the electric infrastructure from the grid to the charging equipment at fleet customer sites. PG&E will partner with school districts, transit agencies, delivery fleets and other business customers, which often rely on diesel for their fleets, which is a highly polluting fuel.
As electric infrastructure is often the biggest expense related to installing an EV charger, this program aims to encourage business customers in PG&E’s service area to invest in EV fleets. PG&E will dedicate 25 percent of the program budget to investments in disadvantaged communities and offer additional incentives for those sites, and for school and transit bus fleets that serve the general public.
With the Clean Energy & Pollution Reduction Act (Senate Bill 350) signed into law on October 7, 2015, the California legislature recognized the role of energy companies in developing necessary EV infrastructure to help the state meet climate and clean-air goals.
Through its EV Charge Network program, PG&E aims to help accelerate the adoption of EVs in California by increasing access to charging. Partnering with business customers and EV charging companies, PG&E will install 7,500 EV chargers at condominiums, apartment buildings and workplaces across Northern and Central California, including at sites in disadvantaged communities. By the end of 2018, PG&E expects to have 1,400 chargers installed at customer sites.
Committed to increasing adoption of clean vehicles in the state, PG&E continues its efforts to make it easier for customers to make the switch to EVs. On PG&E’s residential EV rate plans, customers pay the equivalent of $1.20 per gallon to charge their vehicle overnight. Customers can learn more about EVs by viewing PG&E’s online resources and get help determining which rate plan makes sense for them.
EV drivers who are PG&E residential electric customers can apply for the Clean Fuel Rebate, a one-time rebate of $500 rewarding them for using electricity as a clean transportation fuel. Additionally, PG&E customers can save $10,000 on the purchase of a new 2018 BMW i3 or i3s EV through July 31, 2018. PG&E customers can also save $3,000 on the purchase of a new 2018 Nissan LEAF EV through July 2, 2018.