Clean Transport

Published on February 2nd, 2016 | by James Ayre


3,500 New EV Charging Spots To Be Installed By SDG&E In New Pilot

February 2nd, 2016 by  

Originally published on EV Obsession.

Approval for San Diego Gas & Electric’s Electric Vehicle Grid-Integration pilot project was recently granted by the California Public Utilities Commission, giving the utility company the go-ahead to start its installation of thousands of new electric vehicle charging stations throughout San Diego and south Orange Counties.

The new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations will be situated primarily at businesses and multi-family communities — with some “underserved” neighborhoods getting stations, in addition to wealthier areas.


“Today’s decision not only creates an exciting new opportunity for us to better serve our customers, it also delivers a real solution to achieving California’s ambitious climate goals,” stated Jim Avery, chief development officer of San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). “This pilot program will provide us with a unique opportunity to support the increased adoption of zero-emission vehicles to reduce smog and other pollutants created by the transportation sector in California.”

The press release provides more:

The company will install charging stations at up to 350 businesses and multi-family communities throughout the region, with 10 chargers at each location for a total of 3,500 separate chargers. SDG&E will install at least 10% of the chargers in disadvantaged communities. SDG&E’s project will overcome many current obstacles to EV growth and reassure local EV drivers that they will have a place to charge their vehicles.

In addition to expanding access to EVs, the pilot features special rates that encourage EV drivers to charge their cars when electricity supply, including renewable energy, is plentiful and energy prices are low. With rates encouraging off-peak charging, vehicles will be efficiently integrated onto the grid, helping to avoid on-peak charging that drives the need to build more power plants and other electric infrastructure.

Also worth noting is that the company recently added 163 new plug-in electric vehicles to its fleet, to make increased use of the 158 EV charging stations now installed at company facilities.

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

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About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

  • Farmer_Dave

    What KIND of chargers? Level 1, level 2, DC – DC?

    • Tim

      I agree with the question. No level information means no real article. How about calling them? Do the reporting.

    • Michael B

      I assume (surmise? “educatedly guess”?) that they are Level 2. “In all fairness” though, I don’t think their own press release or many other articles based on it mentioned what level they were. But I don’t think they are installing 3,500 110V outlets around the counties, nor do I think they are going to build 3,500 Chademo and/or CCS quick chargers!

      Still, I think a phone call or email to the right person at SDG&E could have settled the matter.

      –> www dot prnewswire dot com /news-releases/sdge-to-install-thousands-of-electric-vehicle-charging-stations-300211765.html
      –>EV at

    • I just assumed Level 2. Didn’t even think about it, since that seems the most likely by far. Maybe a handful of Level 3 sprinkled in. Doubt they’d be doing Level 1 at this point in Cali.

      • Farmer_Dave

        You know what they say about ass > u > me.

  • Ivor O’Connor

    They are not giving anything away. Simply being proactive and getting ahead of the PR.

    And what about the amperage? Anything near a SC’s ability?

    • Radical Ignorant

      You don’t need few thousand of superchargers in California (at least not in next few years) – it’s more about charging places for people without garages, at work, etc.
      There are about 13,5k gas stations in California. And for EV fast charging outside of own garage is only needed on far travels which are few percent of travels -> lets be conservative and say it’s about 5% = you need 675 fast charging stations for entire car fleet in California. Not for tiny (for now) part of fleet constituted by EVs as of today.

      • Ivor O’Connor

        In the next few years BEVs will become the dominant form of transportation. They’ll want to go from LA to SD and back in a day for instance. What’s being installed now won’t handle that and will need upgrading in a few years.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Right. People drive 1,000 miles in a day all the time.

          • Ivor O’Connor

            Don’t you get tired of saying negative sarcastic things?

          • Bob_Wallace

            I certainly do.

            I so wish people would quit making stupid arguments and not put me in the position of needing to point out how stupid their argument is.

          • Ivor O’Connor

            Me too. People who think going from San Diego to Los Angeles is thousands of miles really need to reread instead of going off on some crazy tangent.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Sorry, distracted while responding. I did San Francisco to San Diego.

          • Ivor O’Connor

            np, you are a very busy person and I appreciate the good work you do in general.

        • Radical Ignorant

          Of course. Just not on the scale of few thousands. Tiny Tesla put IIRC more than 20 stations in few short years, so what is 700 stations for whole industry?
          And I disagree with word “upgrading” – it can suggest changing, discarding work done for now, like if it was temporary. I’d go for word “expand”. It can be done slowly. And BEVs will become dominant slowly, not in one day. There is huge number of cars on roads. So we have time to build those 700stations.
          Let’s count. Average cost for Tesla station is about 150k (quoting price from memory, can be wrong, 300k was with solar canopy IIRC). That give us 1bn USD spread over at least 10 years what gives us $100mln/year. That’s not big number if we are speaking about motor/oil industry scale nor is it big number if we speak in scale of state expenses.

          • Bob_Wallace

            $2,000 of the selling price of each Tesla seems to be earmarked for their Supercharger system. 50,000 cars sold per year (2015) * $2,000 = $100,000,000.

            S and X sales build the charger system. 3 builds the solar system.

          • Radical Ignorant

            That’s little overstated -> about half of world sales are US sales and about half of US sales are California sales. So we have more something like $2000 * 12500 = 250,000. Removing electricity price and other costs lets say it’s only 100,000. This is still 10% of needed cash from small company which market share in CA is only about 0.83%!
            So if other companies will do 1/10th of what Tesla is doing, then we more than covered the bill.

  • Marion Meads

    I have been suggesting that the Utility themselves should offer public charging because of too many advantages that they have, and most of all new sources of revenues as solar PV takes away some of their snacks!

  • Adrian

    3500 new charging spots in two counties is huge! How big is the “actual” project if the pilot succeeds?

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