Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) started an electric vehicle (EV) pilot with San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD), which by 2025 intends to switch its entire bus fleet to electric.
RTD already introduced electric buses into its fleet several years ago. In 2017, the company launched the nation's first 100% electric Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route.
In the latest project, PG&E will try to help prepare the agency for its long-term electric transportation needs, by testing smart charging, use of energy storage and installing up to five chargers for buses.
San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD) will convert its existing Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Express Route 44 to 100 percent battery-electric, zero-emissions buses in August
"With San Joaquin RTD, PG&E will test how smart charging and battery storage can lower operating costs and maximize efficiencies for the agency. PG&E will test, analyze and compare the economics for charging at various times of the day using different models with and without battery storage. As part of the pilot, PG&E will fund up to five new electric bus chargers and a battery energy storage system, and will fund and build the infrastructure from the electric grid to the chargers and storage system.
San Joaquin RTD has taken a lead in electric transportation and already has electric buses in its fleet. This pilot aligns with San Joaquin RTD’s goal of being powered by 100 percent EVs by 2025.
The pilot will be a test case for PG&E’s new FleetReady program, recently approved by the California Public Utilities Commission. Through the program, PG&E will fund and aid installation of the infrastructure from the electric grid to the charger for customers with medium-duty, heavy-duty and off-road fleets such as transit agencies, school districts and delivery fleets."
"Reducing Greenhouse-Gas Emissions and Improving Air Quality
In California, transportation across passenger vehicles and medium- or heavy-duty fleet vehicles is the single largest contributor to greenhouse-gas emissions at nearly 40 percent. Expanding access to EVs is essential to improving air quality and reducing greenhouse-gas emissions in the state. Through new projects like this pilot, PG&E will support widespread EV adoption and help drivers and companies become more confident in using electricity to power vehicles.
The focus on electric transportation for medium- to heavy-duty vehicles, such as transit buses, helps to address air pollution. While the electric medium- and heavy-duty vehicle market is still emerging, electric buses are a viable option and early adopters in the public transportation space have started to purchase them for their fleets. However, transitioning to electric transportation can be complex and requires careful planning. PG&E expects the pilot with San Joaquin RTD to provide learnings to other utilities and transit agencies interested in making the switch."
Roy Kuga, vice president of Grid Integration & Innovation at PG&E said:
“There is a huge opportunity for electric transportation in California in the medium- to heavy-duty space. Through this pilot, we will test capabilities to make electric vehicles more viable for transit agencies while helping to connect underserved communities and make clean energy transportation options more accessible."