California is the nation’s undisputed leader when it comes to EV adoption and infrastructure, and the state doesn’t plan to rest on its laurels for the future, quite the contrary.

The California Energy Commission (CEC) approved a three-year $1.4 billion plan for zero-emission transportation infrastructure and manufacturing to help the Golden State achieve its 2025 electric vehicle charging and hydrogen refueling goals.

Announced November 15, the plan is said to close the funding gap to speed up California’s zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure build-out. The investment supports Governor Gavin Newsom’s executive order phasing out the sale of new gasoline-powered passenger vehicles by 2035.

In a press release, CEC notes that the 2021–2023 Investment Plan Update increases the budget of the Clean Transportation Program by six times, including $1.1 billion from the 2021–2022 state budget in addition to the remaining $238 million in program funds.

“This plan charts the path for Governor Newsom’s historic budget investments in zero-emission transportation infrastructure and manufacturing. These dollars close the 2025 infrastructure funding gap so that access to charging and hydrogen fueling isn’t a barrier for those exploring cleaner transportation options including individuals, businesses and public agencies.”

California Lead Commissioner for Transportation Patty Monahan

The Electric Island heavy-duty electric truck charging site

Focusing on ZEV infrastructure build-out, the plan allocates nearly 80% of available funding to charging stations or hydrogen refueling. Investments are allocated at the beginning of the process, to help “ensure the public adoption of ZEVs is not stymied by lack of infrastructure.

The plan also prioritizes medium- and heavy-duty infrastructure. It includes funding for infrastructure for 1,000 zero-emission school buses, 1,000 zero-emission transit buses, and 1,150 zero-emission drayage trucks, all of which are deemed necessary to reduce harmful air pollution in frontline communities. 

In-state ZEV manufacturing, workforce training and development, as well as near- and zero-emission fuel production, are also supported by the plan. 

CEC says the funds will be distributed to projects through a mix of competitive funding solicitations and direct funding agreements. The goal is to provide at least 50 percent of funds to projects that benefit priority populations, including low-income and disadvantaged communities.

Here’s a breakdown of California’s 2021–2023 Investment Plan Update:

  • $314 million for light-duty electric vehicle charging infrastructure
  • $690 million for medium- and heavy-duty ZEV infrastructure (battery-electric and hydrogen)
  • $77 million for hydrogen refueling infrastructure
  • $25 million for zero-and near-zero-carbon fuel production and supply
  • $244 million for ZEV manufacturing
  • $15 million for workforce training and development
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