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California to Spend $768M on Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

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【Summary】In a push to support the adoption of to electric vehicles in California, the state’s utilities will invest nearly $768 million to expand a network of electric vehicle charging stations and build other infrastructure as California looks to have 5 million zero-emission vehicles on the roads by 2030.

Eric Walz    Jun 01, 2018 11:12 AM PT
California to Spend $768M on Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

LOS ANGELES — In a push to support the adoption of to electric vehicles in California, the state's utilities will invest nearly $768 million to expand a network of electric vehicle charging stations and build other infrastructure as California looks to have 5 million zero-emission vehicles on the roads by 2030.

The California Public Utilities Commission voted 5-0 Thursday to pay for programs statewide over the next five years, with an emphasis on establishing facilities in disadvantaged communities where traffic and air pollution are often highest.

The funding includes $136 million by San Diego Gas & Electric Co. (SDGE) to provide rebates for as many as 60,000 customers to install home charging stations.

Pacific Gas & Electric will build 230 direct current fast-charging stations, for a total of nearly $22.5 million. In addition, PG&E and Southern California Edison will spend a combined $580 million to support the electrification of almost 15,000 medium- and heavy-duty vehicles including transit and school buses, semi-trucks, forklifts and cargo equipment at ports.

"If we're successful with this and other electrification efforts already underway, much of the nation will likely follow California's lead," said CPUC Commissioner Carla J. Peterman.

The utilities initially asked for $1 billion to implement the projects. After a series of hearings, the CPUC decided on a reduced budget of $738 million, with an additional $29.5 million for program evaluation.

Cutting greenhouse-gas pollution

Transportation is the largest source of climate-changing greenhouse-gas pollution in the United States, and the biggest share of that comes from cars and trucks, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration and the EPA.

State Governor Jerry Brown has positioned California as a global leader in fighting climate change and cutting greenhouse gases from automobiles.

California has the highest number of electric and hybrid vehicles on the road, and the approximately 50 percent of all plug-in vehicle are sold in the state. Currently there are about 350,000 zero-emission vehicles on California roads and Gov Brown wants that number to grow 5 million, up from a prior target of 1.5 million by 2025.

In January, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a executive order "to curb carbon pollution from cars and trucks and boost the number of zero-emission vehicles driven in California."

The move comes as the federal government looks to lower fuel economy standards.

President Donald Trump declared in January his administration was cutting rules on Detroit automakers and would "get Motor City revving its engines again." EPA administrator Scott Pruitt said this spring the standards were "too high."

Landmark rules by the Obama administration mandated that cars and light trucks average more than 50 miles per gallon, equivalent to 36 miles per gallon in real-world driving conditions, by 2025. However, the Trump administration plans to lower the requirements with a minimum mileage of 30 miles per gallon in real-world driving until at least 2025.

Regulators send the new fuel economy proposal to White House for review on May 31.


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