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Diverse Coalition Signs Agreement Supporting SDG&E’S Electric Vehicle Charging Program

  |   Electric Vehicles, Smart Cities San Diego, Smart Grid

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and groups representing environmental, environmental justice, electric vehicle service providers, automakers, and labor signed a settlement agreement in support of SDG&E’s innovative Electric Vehicle Grid-Integration pilot project. The pilot calls for SDG&E to install electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure at up to 550 sites throughout the utility’s service territory and offer special rates to encourage charging at optimal times for the grid. These diverse organizations have come together to make this pilot program a key step in meeting Governor Jerry Brown’s goal of having 1.5 million zero emission vehicles on California roads by 2025.


“We are very pleased to enter into this agreement with such a diverse group of stakeholders all working together to promote clean electric vehicles,” said Jim Avery, SDG&E’s senior vice president for power supply and a member of Cleantech San Diego’s Board of Directors. “More than 50 percent of SDG&E’s residential customers live in multi-family communities, where only a small fraction currently has access to charging. To ensure charging is accessible to all customers, our pilot will address gaps like this in the market.”


The settlement agreement supporting the EV pilot was signed by a wide variety of stakeholders, including SDG&E, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Sierra Club, California Coalition of Utility Employees, the Greenlining Institute, ChargePoint Inc, NRG EV Services LLC, Smart Grid Services Siemens AG, Plug in America, General Motors, Honda Motors, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, KN Grid, CALSTART, the Center for Sustainable Energy, and the Green Power Institute. The agreement was submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today. The CPUC will review the agreement and is expected to issue a final decision later this year.


The agreement calls for SDG&E to install charging infrastructure at up to 550 business and multi-family locations throughout its service territory, with 10 chargers at each location for a total of 5,500 separate chargers. Building owners and managers would have a choice of grid-integrated rate options and equipment, promoting competition and market growth in this nascent industry. SDG&E would install at least 10 percent of the chargers in economically disadvantaged communities to expand access to clean EVs in these underserved areas. The pilot will feature special rates that encourage EV customers to lower their fueling costs by charging their cars when electricity supply, including renewable energy is plentiful and energy prices are low. With rates encouraging off-peak charging, vehicles would be efficiently integrated onto the grid, helping to avoid on-peak charging that drives the need to build more power plants and other electrical infrastructure.


The San Diego region is already a leader on the road to a clean transportation future and is home to more than 16,000 plug-in EVs, which is one of the largest concentrations in the country. However, EV growth needs to step up at a much quicker pace to meet Governor Jerry Brown’s call for 1.5 million electric vehicles by 2025. SDG&E’s Vehicle-Grid Integration pilot offers a model for combined effort between the public and private sectors, leveraging the unique skills of all the participants, to install the necessary infrastructure to help meet the Governor’s transportation and climate goals. This partnership is crucial to developing a comprehensive network of readily available charging stations, which will reassure California’s EV drivers that they will have a place to charge their vehicles. It will support efforts to fight climate change, as the transportation sector currently creates approximately 40% of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions, whereas clean EVs are emissions-free.


The Vehicle Grid Integration pilot creates a powerful engine of growth for electric vehicles, protecting the environment, ensuring safe and reliable service, promoting innovation, and helping the state advance to a clean transportation future. SDG&E looks forward to working with its partners and the CPUC to make the pilot a reality for local residents.


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