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California Greenlights Electric Vehicle Charging Program For 38,000 New Charging Stations

Today, in a 5-0 vote, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) unanimously approved Southern California Edison’s (SCE) Charge Ready 2 program, a $437 million electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure program that will support deploying up to 38,000 new charging stations across Southern California over the next four years.

Originally published on Sierra Club.

San Francisco, California — Today, in a 5-0 vote, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) unanimously approved Southern California Edison’s (SCE) Charge Ready 2 program, a $437 million electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure program that will support deploying up to 38,000 new charging stations across Southern California over the next four years.

This program is the largest single program for any utility in the country, and it establishes strong goals to increase access to clean transportation options in historically underserved communities.

Building on the utility’s successful “Charge Ready’ program, a $22 million program that was itself the largest and among the first utility EV programs when it was approved in 2014, the Charge Ready 2 program will further support EV charging in locations critical to widespread EV adoption — like apartment complexes and workplaces — important but underserved markets.

Highlights of the program include: 

  • “Make-ready” infrastructure for charging stations at workplaces and multi-unit dwellings, and to support the electrification of fleet vehicles; “turnkey” infrastructure solutions for charging stations at multi-unit dwellings; and rebates to ensure newly constructed buildings are EV-ready;

  • Strong commitments to serve disadvantaged communities, including a 50 percent target for “make-ready infrastructure;” a 100 percent target for “turn-key solutions,” and a 30 percent target for new construction rebates;

  • $14.5 million for dedicated education and outreach efforts.

In response, Sierra Club Attorney Joe Halso released the following statement: 

“We applaud the Commission on today’s unanimous vote to approve the Charge Ready 2 program, which puts equity front and center in Southern California’s leading charge to expand electric vehicle charging stations and reduce pollution from transportation. This program marks the largest single program for any utility in the nation, a major win for clean air and healthier communities.

“The Charge Ready 2 program will make electric vehicle charging available in apartment complexes and workplaces, with a critical priority on expanding infrastructure in low-income neighborhoods. We applaud California for its precedent-setting leadership on vehicle electrification and will continue to advocate for model policies to expand EV charging infrastructure in communities around the nation.”

Nissan LEAF charging in California at an EVgo fast charger. Image courtesy of Kyle Field/CleanTechnica.

Background on national significance: Southern California’s Charge Ready 2 program builds upon the nearly $2.1 billion in utility-driven EV infrastructure programs approved to date by regulators in California and across the country. These investments include more than $1 billion in programs for California utilities, as well as a $701 million program approved in late July by New York regulators that will be split among its electric utilities.

Sierra Club has worked on nearly all of these programs,, and has worked more broadly to establish model policies for utility investment and infrastructure planning, including guiding principles issued earlier this year together with National Resources Defense Council, EEI, NCLC, and Illinois CUB, and in its AchiEVe Model Policy toolkit issued last week.


About the Sierra Club: The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.5 million members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person’s right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.

 

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