California approves massive EV charging programme


In the US, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has approved Southern California Edison’s (SCE) Charge Ready 2 programme.

The $442 million electric vehicles (EV) infrastructure programme will support the deployment of up to 40,000 new charging stations across Southern California over the next four years.

This programme is the largest single EV initiative for any utility in the country, and it establishes strong goals to increase access to clean transportation options in historically underserved communities.

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The Charge Ready 2 programme will further support EV charging in locations critical to widespread EV adoption — like apartment complexes and workplaces — important but underserved markets.

Highlights of the programme include:

  • “Make-ready” infrastructure for charging stations at workplaces and multi-unit dwellings, and to support the electrification of fleet vehicles; “turnkey” infrastructure solutions for charging stations at multi-unit dwellings; and rebates to ensure newly constructed buildings are EV-ready; 
  • Strong commitments to serve disadvantaged communities, including a 50 percent target for “make-ready infrastructure;” a 100 percent target for “turn-key solutions,” and a 30 percent target for new construction rebates;
  • $14.5 million for dedicated education and outreach efforts.

Building on the utility’s successful “Charge Ready’ programme, a $22 million program that was itself the largest and among the first utility EV programmes when it was approved in 2014.

In response, Sierra Club Attorney Joe Halso, said: “We applaud the Commission on today’s unanimous vote to approve the Charge Ready 2 program, which puts equity front and center in Southern California’s leading charge to expand electric vehicle charging stations and reduce pollution from transportation. This programme is the largest single program for any utility in the nation, a major win for clean air and healthier communities.

“The Charge Ready 2 programme will make electric vehicle charging available in apartment complexes and workplaces, with a critical priority on expanding infrastructure in low-income neighborhoods. We applaud California for its precedent-setting leadership on vehicle electrification and will continue to advocate for model policies to expand EV charging infrastructure in communities around the nation.”

Background on national significance:

Southern California’s Charge Ready 2 programme builds upon the nearly $2.1 billion in utility-driven EV infrastructure programs approved to date by regulators in California and across the country. These investments include more than $1 billion in programmes for California utilities, as well as a $701 million programme approved in late July by New York regulators that will be split among its electric utilities.