California Prepares $ 1.4 Billion Push to Help Meet Electric Vehicle Charging and Hydrogen Refueling Targets


Dive brief:

  • The California Energy Commission (CEC) on Monday approved a $ 1.4 billion plan to bring the state closer to its electric vehicle charging and hydrogen refueling targets..
  • The move comes more than a year after California Governor Gavin Newsom, D, issued an executive order to phase out the sale of new gasoline passenger vehicles in the state by 2035. Funding for the new plan will become available over the next two years through a combination of competitive solicitations and direct deals, according to a press release from the commission.
  • This is “essentially a huge injection of funds for much-needed investments in zero-emission vehicle infrastructure, and in particular electric vehicle charging infrastructure,” said Samantha Houston, senior vehicle analyst at the program. Union of Concerned Scientists own transport..

Dive overview:

Newsom’s goal of ensuring that all sales of new passenger vehicles in California are zero-emission by 2035 is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars by more than 35%, according to the administration. the state. According to an analysis by Energy Innovation, staying on track to achieve this goal could lead to a 9% increase in electricity demand by the end of the decade.

Meanwhile, California aims to install and build 250,000 electric vehicle charging ports – including 10,000 DC fast charging ports – and 200 hydrogen refueling stations by the middle of the decade. But CEC staff estimated that even taking into account existing and future charging ports, California will run out of 54,000 Level 2 chargers and 385 DC fast chargers by 2025.

CEC’s three-year plan – which the agency says will help fill gaps in funding for infrastructure development – includes $ 314 million in funding for light electric vehicle charging infrastructure; $ 690 million for zero emission medium and heavy vehicle infrastructure; and $ 77 million for hydrogen refueling infrastructure. In addition, it is allocating $ 244 million for the manufacture of zero-emission vehicles and an additional $ 15 million for training and workforce development.

“These dollars close the infrastructure funding gap in 2025 so that access to hydrogen charging and refueling is not a barrier for those exploring cleaner transportation options, including individuals, businesses and organizations. public, “CEC commissioner Patty Monahan said in a statement.

The agency intends to ensure that half of the plan’s funds go to projects that help “priority populations”, including low-income communities.

While this funding is not administered by the utilities themselves – unlike previous programs approved by the California Public Utilities Commission – the utilities will be an important partner in this regard, Houston said.

Investor-owned utilities Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE) both welcomed the move. When combined with utility-sponsored programs such as SCE’s Charge Ready programs, the CEC plan will help close the funding gap and enable the deployment of the 250,000 chargers needed to support the 1 , 5 million zero-emission vehicles on California roads by 2025, SCE spokeswoman Gloria Quinn said.

“We look forward to continuing to work with CEC and other state policymakers to ensure the necessary public and private funding is provided to support the deployment of the additional 900,000 chargers beyond the 2025 target,” in order to meet the adoption of electric vehicles necessary by 2030, “she added. .

“Increasing the adoption of electric vehicles is a critical part of making California’s clean air future a reality for the transportation industry,” said PG&E spokesperson Ari Vanrenen, in an emailed statement, adding that the utility welcomed CEC’s efforts to reduce barriers to the adoption of electric vehicles.

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