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SoCalEd, SDG&E file ambitious plans to electrify cars, trucks and buses

Southern California Edison Co. and San Diego Gas & Electric Co. filed five-year plans to expand electric transportation in their service areas. PG&E Corp. subsidiary Pacific Gas and Electric Co. announced its five-year, $253 million proposed program as well.

Together, the big three investor-owned utilities plan to spend more than $1 billion on transportation electrification projects.

Edison International subsidiary SoCalEd filed with the California Public Utilities Commission a more than $570 million program to increase electrification of cars, buses, trucks and industrial equipment. SoCalEd wants to fund charging equipment for plug-in trucks, electric buses, cargo-handling port equipment and off-road equipment. The medium and heavy-duty vehicle charging infrastructure program alone would cost $553.82 million over five years, according to the utility's application. The filing's proposed capital investments are subject to the PUC's review and approval.

Like PG&E, SoCalEd seeks to complement previously announced programs for passenger vehicle charging stations, with a particular focus on areas that are disproportionately affected by pollution and economic hardship.

SoCalEd is proposing a one-year pilot to install infrastructure and provide a rebate toward the purchase of the charging stations for transit agencies that are already preparing to get electric buses.

In the future, SoCalEd plans to explore options for a zero-emission program for transporting freight from the Port of Long Beach to inland distribution hubs.

"Transitioning to zero- and near-zero emissions modes of transportation is essential to achieving air quality goals in this region," said South Coast Air Quality Management District Executive Officer Wayne Nastri in a press release.

SoCalEd also released a white paper, "Transportation Electrification: Reducing Emissions, Driving Innovation," showing that transportation electrification must take place in order to meet the state's goals of reducing air pollution and greenhouse gases. Electric vehicles currently reduce greenhouse gases by more than 70% and smog-producing air pollutants by 85% compared to gas-powered cars, SoCalEd said.

The proposed projects in the commission filing expand on SoCalEd's Charge Ready pilot program that provides rebates for customers' installation of EV charging stations in multivehicle parking facilities.

SoCalEd also proposed to install 50 DC fast-charge ports at five sites in urban areas and provide bonuses to rideshare and taxi drivers who meet or exceed ridership quotas. The company would also provide rebates to customers who put EV chargers in single-family residences or smaller multiunit dwellings not covered in the Charge Ready program.

SDG&E has big EV infrastructure and incentive plans too

Meanwhile, SDG&E filed a proposal to install up to 90,000 charging stations at single family homes over five years as part of a $225.9 million residential project that would include special EV rates to encourage off-peak charging. After updating the capital and operation and maintenance costs with adjustment factors, the total project cost would be $322 million, according to the application.

SDG&E proposed to install additional electric charging stations at locations such as San Diego International Airport, the Port of San Diego and park-and-ride sites, as well as along local highways. The utility would also provide charging locations for delivery and taxi fleets and offer incentives at car dealerships for the sale of EVs. These programs would cost $18.19 million, and with adjustment factors could reach $26.4 million, the application said.

The proposed programs would build upon the company's ongoing Power Your Drive program to install 3,500 electric charging stations at 350 apartments, condos and businesses.

Transportation electrification is often considered the natural progression of renewables, given that electric cars and trucks plugging into the power grid will be charging on ever increasing amounts of clean energy. The Sempra Energy subsidiary said its customers over the last 12 months received more than 40% of their energy from renewable sources.