The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) advanced actions last week that will help install more electric vehicle charging stations in the state.
The commission gave Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) a go-ahead to install 2,822 EV charging stations at workplaces, housing complexes and public spaces in California.
The $52.2 million program will run through 2025 and will require PG&E to use 65% of the funds in underserved communities.
Also approved on Thursday, Dec. 15, a new mandate sets a timeline for utility companies to bring EV charging stations online. Utilities must connect customers with EV charging stations to the grid in 125 days, take steps to make the process easier for customers, and gather data to identify ways the energization process gets bottlenecked.
A series of mandates from the California Air Resources Board require new vehicles sold in the state to be zero-emission, which also includes buses and trucks. The commission said that it is essential to have EV charging infrastructure in place to make this into a reality.
“Today’s energization decision takes big steps to speed up the process of connecting new EV chargers to the electric grid and to make sure utilities provide customers information about how that process works,” said CPUC Commissioner Clifford Rechtschaffen.
With California taking the lead in electric car sales nationwide, CPUC allowed utility companies to allocate over $1.8 billion in their budgets for EV charging stations, and ensure EV charging rates are significantly cheaper than gas.
There are currently 80,027 public and shared electric vehicle chargers, according to the California Energy Commission (CEC). Last year, the CEC found that the state will need 1.2 million chargers by 2030 in order to serve an anticipated 7.5 million EVs on the road.
In October, the Governor’s Office announced that electric car sales reached 18% of total new car sales, three times the nationwide rate.