California regulators approved three plans from the state three largest utilities which will result in almost $768 million in electric vehicles (EV) infrastructure spending. This move on Thursday is the largest coordinated effort for state-level EV infrastructure spending to date.
The California Public Utility Commission (PUC) was directed to make the way for infrastructure plans from the three utilities including: Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), and Southern California Edison (SCE).
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that PG&E will spend more than $22 million on installing 230 direct current fast-charging stations in the state. Both PG&E and SCE will spend $236.3 million and $342.6 million, respectively, “on infrastructure and rebates to support electric trucks, buses, and other medium or heavy-duty vehicles.” They will also install 1,500 charging stations for those vehicles.
$136.9 Million in Rebates for Customers
SDG&E has allocated $136.9 million to give rebates to up to 60,000 customers who install charging stations in their homes.
And all three utilities now have $29.5 million to study the effectiveness of their programs.
This effort may move the state away from the oil and gas industry. But there is a study from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) that may slow the process down. It showed that too many EVs in any one neighborhood could put strain on the grid that would require costly upgrades.
Despite the huge commitment from California, electric vehicles actually on the road are still growing slowly. The International Energy Agency (IEA) published a report recently saying that there are currently three million electric passenger vehicles on the road around the world. That is up from 2 million a year ago.