California Utilities Request For Approval Of $1 Billion Of EV-Related Investments

5 months ago by Mark Kane 25

PG&E Fleet

PG&E Fleet

Utilities in California recently issued requests for approval of electric vehicle-related projects, that in total are worth more than $1 billion.

SDG&E - Power Your Drive program

SDG&E – Power Your Drive program

Efforts for these projects are in-line with the state’s goal of having 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles by 2025.

  • Edison International’s Southern California Edison (SCE) would like to collect $570 million from customers over five years
  • Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) seeks for $253 million
  • Sempra Energy’s San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is applying for $244.1 million

Projects are pretty varied, but the bulk of investment seems to be on the charging infrastructure.


Southern California Edison ($570 million) proposals include:

  • Funding for medium- and heavy-duty vehicle charging infrastructure. As in the Charge Ready program, SCE would install infrastructure on a customer’s site and provide a rebate toward the purchase of the charging station. In addition to trucks, this program would support plug-in buses, forklifts and other off-road equipment. While it is not part of the current filing, SCE will be exploring options with the South Coast Air Quality Management District and other stakeholders for a zero-emission freight movement program for transporting freight from the Port of Long Beach to inland distribution hubs.
  • Rates designed to incentivize EV adoption. This attractive rate option for EV owners would eliminate demand charges during an introductory period and stimulate charging during periods of the day that benefit both customers and the grid (i.e., low-cost periods during the day to support integration of renewable energy).

A number of short-term pilot programs are also part of the package:

Southern California Edison Graphic

Southern California Edison Graphic

  • Customer rebate for residential charging station installation. SCE would provide a rebate to residential customers living in single-family residences or smaller multi-unit dwellings not covered in the Charge Ready program to install a “make-ready,” which is the electrical infrastructure required in a garage or at a parking space to support EV charging. The rebates would alleviate the cost of installing a new circuit and, for some customers, the cost of a new panel.
  • Building vehicle charging infrastructure for electric transit buses. Similar to the medium- and heavy-duty vehicle program, SCE is proposing a one-year pilot to install infrastructure and provide a rebate toward the purchase of the charging stations for buses. This project will focus specifically on progressive transit agencies that are already preparing to receive electric buses and will provide charging infrastructure to speed adoption of electric transit buses.
  • Port electrification projects. At the Port of Long Beach, SCE would install charging infrastructure for the electrification of equipment used to unload and move goods containers from ships to off-port transportation vehicles currently powered by diesel engines.
  • Building urban DC Fast Charger (DCFC) clusters. SCE would install five DC fast-charge sites in urban areas. Each site would have up to five dual-port charging stations for a total of 50 DCFC ports. The sites would be located in publicly accessible urban locations — for example, near a corridor, downtown or in high-density apartments.
  • Bonus reward to rideshare/taxi drivers who use EVs. SCE proposes a monetary reward to rideshare and taxi drivers who use an EV and exceed a specified number of rides during a given time period. The pilot promotes the use of EVs in rideshare services, increases EV miles traveled and introduces more passengers to the experience of riding in an EV

PG&E Fleet of plug-ins

PG&E Fleet of plug-ins

PG&E’s ($253 million) proposal addresses three specific areas:

  • Expanding the electrification for fleets with medium- and heavy-duty vehicles including school buses, transit agencies and delivery fleets that often use diesel, a highly polluting fuel. To address air pollution issues in the state, PG&E suggests a five-year project with a budget of $211 million that would build “make-ready” electric infrastructure for medium- to heavy-duty and off-road fleets.
  • Responding to consumer demand for fast-charging stations, which can refuel EVs in 20-30 minutes, PG&E proposes to complement state and privately funded fast charger deployments with new electric infrastructure. 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 $22 million recommendation includes offering a significant rebate toward the purchase of a fast charger for sites in disadvantaged communities.PG&E will utilize 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.
  • Exploring new uses for vehicle electrification through five, one-year projects for an overall budget of $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.

San Diego Gas & Electric ($244.1 million) notes:

San Diego Gas and Electric Plug In Prius

San Diego Gas and Electric’s Plug In Prius

  • Residential Charging Program: Installation of up to 90,000 charging stations at single family homes throughout the company’s service area;
  • Airport Electrification: Installation of up to 45 charging ports to enable electrification of approximately 90 new pieces of ground support equipment at San Diego International Airport;
  • Port Electrification: Installation of several electric vehicle charging stations and research meters to study the charging habits of heavy and medium-duty electric trucks and forklifts at the Port of San Diego;
  • Fleet Delivery Trucks: Installation of grid-integrated charging stations for about 90 fleet delivery vehicles at approximately six business locations;
  • Electrify Local Highways: Grid-integrated charging infrastructure to four Park-and-Ride locations;
  • Green Taxi/Rideshare/Shuttles: Incentives to purchase electric taxis and shuttles and install charging stations at five locations frequently traveled by taxis, shuttles and rideshare vehicles. 50 EV drivers from rideshare companies would receive fueling credits on their electric bills;
  • Dealership Incentives: EV educational programs and financial incentives for the sale of EVs.

Source: Bloomberg and Green Car Congress

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25 responses to "California Utilities Request For Approval Of $1 Billion Of EV-Related Investments"

  1. Bob Nan says:

    Good move. Start with the government office, public library and then expand to other places. This will be a source of revenue for the state as well.

    And this will prompt many to buy electric vehicles.

    1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      No, not a good move.

      This is infrastructure for electric vehicles we’re talking about. Electric utilities stand to gain from the switch from gasoline to electricity. It’s double-dipping to raise the price of electricity to pay for something that will see more people use electricity.

      1. Doggydogworld says:

        Your premise is incorrect. If the EVs show up as promised there’s no need to raise rates.

        More infrastructure/more kWhs = same rates
        More infrastructure/same kWhs = higher rates

        1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

          As the article makes clear it’s seeking approval that includes charging customers for the investment.

        2. Ambulator says:

          If only I believed that.

          They need money to put in the new infrastructure. I would think they should either borrow the money against the revenue they expect or raise it from issuing new stock. It appears, however, they want to raise electricity rates to fund it. I’m not happy about that.

          1. Rob Stark says:

            Believe whatever you want but

            Regulated utilities can’t leverage like that.

        3. DJ says:

          In CA the CPUC guarantees them a rate of return so more infrastructure = more guaranteed income. There have been several articles about how it’s in the utilities favor to spend and spend on infrastructure even if it’s not needed as they’re guaranteed to make $ off of it.

          1. SJC says:

            They have to show it will be used and pay back. At night utilities have assets that are not producing at maximum, this is a way to level that.

        4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          “If the EVs show up as promised there’s no need to raise rates.”

          “More infrastructure/more kWhs = same rates”

          That’s a nice fantasy.

          In the real world, buying and installing new equipment requires capital investment. If a public utility does that, the money can come from raising rates or selling bonds, but it isn’t going to be provided for free by unicorns and rainbows.

          1. Nick says:

            Or they can, you know, sell electricity to pay for it.

            They’ve been known to do that. 😀

          2. speculawyer says:

            In theory, going big into EVs could actually slow the rise or even reduce the price of electricity. Our electricity grid has a MASSIVE OVERCAPACITY at night such that valuable capital assets are largely idle during the night. With many more EVs, that additional capacity will be used by EVs and thus the utilities will have paying customers during the night that will not require additional capital costs. (OK, there will be some small capital costs such as upgrading some transformers.)

            Now due to greed, I doubt prices actually go down . . . but price increases may slow.

            1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              I would be very happy to be shown to be wrong on this point.

              Similarly, upstream a bit DJ said:

              “There have been several articles about how it’s in the utilities favor to spend and spend on infrastructure even if it’s not needed as they’re guaranteed to make $ off of it.”

              Well, it’s certainly true that a utility isn’t going to lose money installing power lines to newly built homes or commercial buildings in urban areas. (In rural areas, the cost/benefit equation isn’t so positive.)

              But whether or not that same cost/benefit is going to work for EV chargers… well, I very much hope it’s true! But with only 1% or so (perhaps even less) of cars on the road being PEVs, I wonder if it’s too soon for that to be profitable.

              Remember what happened with (Project) Better Place: Making a large up-front investment in infrastructure will be a failure if the monthly income from customers using that infrastructure isn’t enough to justify it.

  2. pjwood1 says:

    Moodys projects 2-5% of all CA’s load coming from EVs, by 2025. That’s on low EV growth, of about 18% per year, from . I’d wonder if this wouldn’t be akin to a “no CARB waiver” scenario?

    If the book value of Tesla’s national network isn’t even 1bb, this should end up looking pretty good.

  3. speculawyer says:

    Do it!

    I know it will annoy people to rate-base this (charge all the electricity customers for this investment). But this will help move EV adoption forward and the customers will ultimately benefit with cleaner air, a more efficiently used grid, and a better EV infrastructure.

    I think the most important things to support, in order, are:
    1) Level 2 chargers at multifamily housing sites. People at apartments & condos need to be able to buy EVs;
    2) DC Fast charging along long distance corridors between major cities . . . this includes 5, 101, 80, 15, 10, 40, 50, and the PCH. If you cover just those with DC fast-chargers every 50 miles or so then you have the most traveled long distance routes largely covered. That really would not be that expensive.
    3) Level 2 chargers at workplaces. Great fringe benefit. A good way to suck up excess solar PV electricity.

  4. speculawyer says:

    It is kinda annoying that none of the cars in that “PG&E Fleet” picture are pure EVs . . . just PHEVs . . . and maybe CNGs.

    1. JayTee says:

      People do charge PHEVs.

      1. speculawyer says:

        Well duh. I would just think that an electric utility would have the balls to go full electric, at least on light-duty passenger vehicles. Perhaps they’ll pick up some Bolts.

  5. Get Real says:

    Absolutely fantastic that the natural purveyors of electricity are finally starting to react to this fast growing market for EV fuel in California.

    Once this approach spreads out throughout the US in concert with compelling EVs its game almost over for the fossil fools and the Trumpians they are in league with.

    1. JayTee says:

      This “market” is growing because of subsidies. Subsidies that raise taxes. Taxes that cost jobs.

      Fantastic!

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Yes, it’s a very hopeful sign that electric utilities are starting to get into the business of installing EV chargers. They’re already in a business that requires digging trenches and installing new electric power lines. So they won’t be charging ridiculous fees for that.

      Electric utilities also have an incentive to maintain EV chargers after they’re installed, since they’re selling the electricity.

      The downside of this is that the utilities will likely have to raise rates to pay for the new installations. (They could also sell bonds, but that would likely require the voters’ approval.) I’d much rather see the utilities partner with outside companies which would provide the capital.

  6. Get Real says:

    So according to your Trumping alternative facts, 400,000 people put down $1000.00 apiece for a reservation to buy a Tesla Model 3 because of subsidies?

    Keep trolling JayTee.

  7. Bill Howland says:

    It will be interesting to see if the average Californian goes for this… I predict they will since almost no one complained when the wholesale conversion to SmartMeters happened and rates went up.

    Its only another $ 1 Billion, so what the heck.

    People who don’t like it can always move.

    Please don’t do it in my town though, I’m not ready to move just yet.

    1. speculawyer says:

      This type of minutia is largely ignored by most people.

      It would seem completely bizarre to me for you to move just because of a buck a month added to your utility bill but you do have some strange views that I don’t understand.

  8. Get Real says:

    Well Bill, electricity rates generally always go up, but they are cheaper than and go up more slowly than gas prices:
    http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=20372

    And while we are at it, a certain percentage of people move every year:
    http://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2015/cb15-47.html

    Anyways, keep believing your hero Trump as he increasingly goes off the deep-end playing fast and loose with his alternative facts about how much the people do or don’t love and worship him!

    1. Bill Howland says:

      Well to both GR and Spec if you really believe the utility bills are only going up a buck a month, then enjoy it.

      I’m surprised Californians accept their current rates, as I’ve stated.

      As far as Trump being my HERO, I was merely a reluctant supporter – not that I want to damn him with faint praise now.

      As far as agreeing with his policies, I agree with the hands-off Russia stance, but I’m totally against the fight-picking with China, and I think he and his team are going to get their cans bitten..

      This is the one disagreement that I have with MR. Musk => I do *NOT* think that Tilerson is a good choice for SOS. Although he is sure to get some rapid on-the-job training.

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