Engerati’s Week In Energy – California To Set Tone For Utility Involvement In EV Charging Infrastructure

Published: Mon 16 Feb 2015
A blog entry by Jonathan Spencer Jones

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Jonathan Spencer Jones
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With Pacific Gas & Electric’s (PG&E) proposal for a network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations announced last week, all of California’s investor owned electric utilities now have plans on the table for participating in what is set to be a potentially lucrative business. [Major Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Build Proposed For California]

Together the three utilities have set out plans for deploying over 60,000 public EV charging stations – the bulk of them by PG&E and Southern California Edison (SCE), with San Diego Gas & Electric’s (SDG&E) a pilot proposal. If approved, PG&E and SCE’s deployments will amount to around a quarter to a third of the total number they believe to be required in their service areas if California’s aggressive 1.5 million zero emission vehicles by 2025 target is to be met.

While the three plans have the same end goal, they differ in their details and we expect some lively and interesting debate ahead (already the ruling on SDG&E’s proposal is running a year behind that anticipated at the time of filing). How the California PUC rules on a range of issues, from who owns what part of the charging infrastructure to whether and how much residents should pay in their utility rates for such infrastructure, is likely to have an important bearing on utility involvement in this activity in other jurisdictions.

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