CPUC Approves $22 Million EVSE Installation Drive,
The Customers Will Own and Operate the Equipment
Southern California Edison has secured California Public Utility Commission approval of its $22 million “Charge Ready” initiative, which SCE describes as a pilot project to support installation of as many as 1,500 electric vehicle charging stations within its service territory.
Chargers are to be installed “where people park their cars for extended periods of time,” SCE says, “at workplaces, campuses, recreational areas and apartment and condominium complexes.”
“A major barrier to electric vehicle ownership is that there aren’t enough charging stations where people normally park their cars,” Caroline Choi, VP for energy and environmental policy, said in a release.
‘More Options to Charge’
“We believe that by giving electric vehicle owners more options to charge their vehicles, this program can actually help to accelerate the market in Southern California.”
Choi described the Charge Ready program as a partnership in which the utility will install and maintain the supporting electrical infrastructure, the cost of which will be covered by the program, while participants will own, operate and maintain qualified charging stations.
“The customer participant will own and operate the charging station and will be responsible for all related operating costs, including maintenance and electricity usage,” states CPUC’s approval announcement. “Ratepayers will fund the cost of all paneling, conduits, and wiring, up to the charging station itself.”
‘A Plug-and-Play Grid’
“The vision for Edison is a plug-and-play grid,” with third-party suppliers welcome, says Ed Kjaer, an architect of the Charge Ready program who left the utility late last year. “It’s a program that’s very business-friendly,” he told F&F.
CPUC notes that the utility will rebates to charging station site owners to cover a pre-determined percentage of the charging system “base cost.”
‘Cleaner and Cleaner’
Rebate levels will be 25% of the base cost for all non-residential market segments, 50% of the base cost for multi-unit dwellings, and 100% of the base cost for any charging stations located within disadvantaged communities, regardless of market segment, CPUC says.
“Electricity has a benefit that few other alternative fuels can claim,” Choi said. “While electric vehicles currently cut carbon emissions by 70%, they will only get cleaner and cleaner because the grid is getting cleaner as the result of state clean air policies.”
Next Step: 30,000 Chargers for $355 Million
SCE said it expects to begin accepting applications from prospective participants in March.
“At the conclusion of the pilot, SCE will seek authority from the CPUC to expand the program to bring the total number of charging stations to about 30,000 for a total estimated cost of $355 million,” the utility says.
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Source: Southern California Edison with Fleets & Fuels follow-up