Approval for San Diego Gas & Electric’s Electric Vehicle Grid-Integration pilot project was recently granted by the California Public Utilities Commission, giving the utility company the go-ahead to start its installation of thousands of new electric vehicle charging stations throughout San Diego and south Orange Counties.
The new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations will be situated primarily at businesses and multi-family communities — with some “underserved” neighborhoods getting stations, in addition to wealthier areas.
“Today’s decision not only creates an exciting new opportunity for us to better serve our customers, it also delivers a real solution to achieving California’s ambitious climate goals,” stated Jim Avery, chief development officer of San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). “This pilot program will provide us with a unique opportunity to support the increased adoption of zero-emission vehicles to reduce smog and other pollutants created by the transportation sector in California.”
The press release provides more:
The company will install charging stations at up to 350 businesses and multi-family communities throughout the region, with 10 chargers at each location for a total of 3,500 separate chargers. SDG&E will install at least 10% of the chargers in disadvantaged communities. SDG&E’s project will overcome many current obstacles to EV growth and reassure local EV drivers that they will have a place to charge their vehicles.
In addition to expanding access to EVs, the pilot features special rates that encourage EV drivers to charge their cars when electricity supply, including renewable energy, is plentiful and energy prices are low. With rates encouraging off-peak charging, vehicles will be efficiently integrated onto the grid, helping to avoid on-peak charging that drives the need to build more power plants and other electric infrastructure.
Also worth noting is that the company recently added 163 new plug-in electric vehicles to its fleet, to make increased use of the 158 EV charging stations now installed at company facilities.