California Utility Seeks Approval To Build Electric Truck Charging Network

4 weeks ago by Mark Kane 19

Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley School Bus

It’s time to get a charging infrastructure in place for those upcoming electric trucks like the Tesla Semi.

SDG&E proposed a new charging infrastructure project for medium-duty and heavy-duty electric vehicles and equipment in California.

Thor ET-One

The California utility intends to build charging stations for about 3,000 vehicles like trucks, school and transit buses or other medium/heavy-duty equipment, including forklifts and refrigerated semi-truck trailer.

SDG&E argues that those vehicles are generating the bulk of the most harmful air pollutants.

There is more than 103,000 Class 2 through Class 8 commercial vehicles in the region.

If the proposal is approved by the the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), then installations will be spread out over five years.

At this stage, SDG&E didn’t revealed what kind of charging stations we should expect.

“Under a proposal submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) this week, SDG&E is seeking approval to build charging infrastructure to enable about 3,000 medium/heavy-duty vehicles to go electric. To clean up the air in areas suffering from the highest levels of tailpipe emissions, 40 percent of the installations will be targeted for vehicles and equipment that are based in or travel through disadvantaged communities. Overall, this program will help local, regional and statewide government meet climate action goals by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

This new proposal comes on the heels of SDG&E receiving unanimous support and approval from the CPUC on Jan. 11 to proceed with 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, the new proposal would enable a much wider deployment of charging stations in the region, which is home to more than 103,000 Class 2 through Class 8 commercial vehicles, including trucks that operate around the congested ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border. These vehicles range in weight from 6,000 pounds to more than 33,000 pounds. In California, Class 2–8 vehicles produce more particulate matter than all of the state’s power plants combined and can cause or worsen asthma and other health conditions.

The application would also support the electrification of forklifts and refrigerated semi-truck trailers, which are vital for moving and delivering perishable goods. If approved by the CPUC, the program would be implemented over five years and is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 42,000 metric tons per year, equivalent to avoiding the use of more than 4.7 million gallons of gasoline.

SDG&E’s proposal was developed under Senate Bill 350 (SB 350), which recognizes that widespread transportation electrification is required to meet the state’s goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

Organizations offering support for this proposal include the Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce, UC San Diego, Amazon, North County Transit District, Sierra Club, Ace Parking, Sysco and the San Diego Air Pollution Control District.

A cutting-edge element of the proposal is an electric school bus pilot. Under the pilot, bus batteries would charge when energy is plentiful—such as during the day when there is abundant solar power—and discharge the energy when there is high demand on the power grid.

Meanwhile, as part its Power Your Drive Program, SDG&E continues to make progress installing up to 3,500 charging stations at multi-family homes and businesses. SDG&E’s charging projects do not just deliver clean air, they also create jobs and stimulate the economy.”

Caroline Winn, SDG&E’s chief operating officer, said:

“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. 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.”

19 responses to "California Utility Seeks Approval To Build Electric Truck Charging Network"

  1. Kdawg says:

    Let the truck charging standard war begin. I think we need at least 3 different types of connectors, min. 🙂

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Oh, at least three just for the U.S./Canada alone. At least another three for Europe, and Japan and China should each have at least one of their own. 😉

      1. I think the plug should be made to look like the Falcon Heavy!
        😀

  2. Gasbag says:

    Queue up the quote from Mercedes’ stable genius about the private sector not paying for charging infrastructure.

  3. SparkEV says:

    At $0.22/kWh base rate and probably going higher, having lots of public electric use will be pretty sweet for SDGE, especially since many residential customers will get solar and battery.

    I’m sure they’ll also charge so much for trucking, and some point the electricity will cost more than using diesel. Being gov’t monopoly, they’ll continue jacking up the rates and probably pushing for banning trucks that don’t use SDGE. Gawd, I hope Tesla comes up with something to counter them.

    1. Roy_H says:

      That argument applies to gasoline and hydrogen where oil companies control the distribution and make their profits. The beauty of electricity is that it can be made in so many different ways. Home solar and wind power is an option, if any electric utility charges too much, then it just drives their customers to produce their own power and the utility loses customers and income. Not in their best interest to do that.

      1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

        As we all know, we have many different electric grids and public utilities, and you can always ask some other utility to build another transmission line to you!

      2. Brandon says:

        Yeah, but that’s dependent on net metering, and hopefully that will stay around for a LONG time.

  4. Get Real says:

    Uh, they are a government regulated Investor Owned Utility so technically they are a privately owned monopoly that is regulated by the government.

    And I am NOT making excuses for SDGE which is deservedly well known as the worst of the 3 big IOUs in California.

    But you can fight back with your own solar and battery storage.

    In the next 10 plus years the IOUs will all go bankrupt from this fact.

  5. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “It’s time to get a charging infrastructure in place for those upcoming electric trucks like the Tesla Semi.”

    Nope, that’s quite premature.

    It may well be time for electric utilities to start planning for a charging infrastructure for heavy trucks, buses, and the like, but the Tesla Semi Truck won’t be going into production for 2-3 years, and I think it’s unlikely that any other company is going to produce them in large numbers before Tesla does. And despite all the excitement over the Tesla Semi Truck, we don’t yet know if trucking companies are going to be using those in large numbers.

    Building out chargers and then having them sit there exposed to the weather, and possibly to vandalism and copper thieves, for years before they could ever be needed, would be a rather foolish waste of money and resources.

    “The application would also support the electrification of forklifts and refrigerated semi-truck trailers, which are vital for moving and delivering perishable goods.”

    Well okay, that seems like a much better reason to start building them soon. But I’m having a hard time believing that any company with an electric forklift is going to bring it to a truck depot for charging! Fork lifts are going to be charged on-site, unless we’re talking about the relatively small number of forklifts we occasionally see carried along at the end of a flatbed semi trailer (see photo linked below).

    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/aXtpLIZgtyY/hqdefault.jpg

    1. Roy_H says:

      This will take several years, just now starting planing.

    2. Gasbag says:

      but the Tesla Semi Truck won’t be going into production for 2-3 years

      Volvo, Tesla, and Navistar have all announced deliveries to start in 2019. Protera and BYD are already delivering vehicles. SDGE is seeking approval. Actual installation is likely next year giving them a few months at best for validation.

      Nikolai is expecting to ship in 2020 and although the plan on having H EREVs it would be foolish of them to not add a plug with their big batteries.

      1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

        Nikola doesn’t need to. They were planning to have DC charger, but just 50 kW CCS (or whatever they’ll actually make) for overnight parking power.

        Their primary fuel is already planned to be cheap enough at $3.5/kg retail, or $3.5/33=$0.11/kWh. SDG&E at $0.20-$0.30/kWh or whatever more they will charge is not going to be cost competitive. In the US Northwest, or Canada, it may make sense to charge from cheaper electric grid, but not in California.

        1. earl colby pottinger says:

          That is ok to charge a car with 100-200 kWh of battery, but a truck with have 800-1500 kWh of storage and overnight with only a 50 kW charger will need more than just overnight charging.

          The extra boost may be useful for some people but a lot (most?) trucker will want a faster charge rate.

          1. Brandon says:

            zzzz is referring to the Nikola semi truck, which has a smaller battery and a hydrogen fuel cell fueled by hydrogen. So for that a 50 kW charger is enough.
            For a Tesla semi truck it’s possible that 100 kW or so overnight would suffice.

          2. Terawatt says:

            With CCS at 150 kW you get 1500 kWh in ten hours, or 1200 kWh in eight, assuming a 20% remaining charge at the end of the day…

            Sure, I’ve ignored tapering. But with 1500 kWh the pack will probably take the full power until 95% or so, depending on the chemistry. Kia Soul’s 27 kWh pack can take 70 kW up to 70% or so, i.e. less than 9 kWh remaining to charge…

        2. Gasbag says:

          They will likely delay sales until they can get the costs down to their planned price then which may be indefinitely cuz the current cost is over $9 per kg wholesale. Their plan is to include the fuel in the lease hence the $4,000 per month lease price.

  6. Don Zenga says:

    Go for it. Its the infrastructure that will prompt more companies to buy electric trucks. And this will bring more revenue for utilities as electricity is used for transport.

    Consumption of electricity is declining despite a booming economy because of LED bulbs and other fuel efficient products cutting down the consumption. Only way to compensate this is to make the vehicles run on electricity.

    All along the utilities ignored electric transport, now they have to jump in.

  7. Terawatt says:

    The contrast between their focus on the millions of gallons of fuel that won’t need to be burned and the unambitious goal of enabling 3,000 of the 103,000 trucks to go electric is almost funny, but mainly sad.

    Still, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a first step…

Leave a Reply