SAN DIEGO, — Some of the most frequented community facilities and destinations in the San Diego region, such as schools, parks, and beaches, would gain a new amenity – electric vehicle (EV) charging stations – under a program proposed by San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) to help reduce range anxiety, air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.
Range anxiety– the concern that your car battery will run out of power before reaching your destination or an available charging station – is a leading barrier to more people being able to switch to clean transportation, which is critical to meeting local and state climate action goals.
Yesterday, SDG&E submitted an application to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for approval to implement two pilot programs to make EV charging stations more readily available. One pilot would bring chargers to local parks and beaches, and the other to local schools and educational institutions, including K-12 campuses, vocational schools, community colleges, and universities.
“Our goal is to remove barriers for our customers when choosing an electric vehicle and incorporate charging into everyday life,” said SDG&E Chief Operating Officer Caroline Winn. “Imagine the convenience of having your car recharged while you enjoy a hike in a park, take a walk on the beach, or watch your children’s athletic event at their school.”
If approved, the pilot programs would allow SDG&E to install about 340 chargers at approximately 50 yet-to-be-determined sites and help fill in gaps in the existing charging network. After securing approval, SDG&E would work with various stakeholders to determine where to install the chargers. Stakeholders include schools, educational institutions, and relevant agencies, such as the California Department of Parks and Recreation and local parks departments.
Two levels of chargers would be installed: Level 2 (208-240 volt) chargers, which can provide up to 10-20 miles of range per hour of charging, and DC Fast chargers (480 volt), which can provide about 20-30 miles for every 15 minutes of charging. The pilot programs would prioritize chargers in disadvantaged communities – areas that suffer from high levels of air pollution. Under California Assembly Bills 1082 and 1083, which authorize utilities to submit these types of EV infrastructure proposals, the CPUC is required to decide whether to approve them by December 31, 2018.
SDG&E’s proposal builds on the growing momentum to accelerate electric vehicle adoption in California. Currently, SDG&E is already implementing a half dozen pilot programs to expand the regional charging network for a variety of vehicles, ranging from passenger vehicles to trucks and forklifts. Locations where chargers have or will be installed under already approved programs include: apartments, condo complexes, workplaces, the Port of San Diego, San Diego International Airport, Park & Ride lots, delivery fleet hubs, and shuttle hubs.
Transportation electrification is key to achieving California’s ambitious climate action goals, because the movement of people and goods – powered largely by gasoline-fueled vehicles – accounts for 41 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions in California. That percentage is even higher in the City of San Diego – 54 percent. Tailpipe emissions are also a major contributor to air pollution. The American Lung Association gave this region an “F” for the number of High Ozone Days recorded, ranking the San Diego-Carlsbad metropolitan area No. 6 in the nation for having the worst ozone pollution.
SDG&E is an innovative San Diego-based energy company that provides clean, safe, and reliable energy to better the lives of the people it serves in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The company is committed to creating a sustainable future by providing around 45 percent of its electricity from renewable sources; modernizing natural gas pipelines; accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles; supporting numerous non-profit partners; and investing in innovative technologies to ensure the reliable operation of the region’s infrastructure for generations to come. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.