Coalition Backs SDG&E’s Massive EV Charger Pilot Proposal


San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and groups representing environmental, environmental justice, electric vehicle (EV) service providers, automakers and labor have signed a settlement agreement in support of the utility's proposed Electric Vehicle Grid-Integration pilot project.

The pilot calls for SDG&E to install EV charging infrastructure at up to 550 sites throughout the utility's service territory and offer special rates to encourage charging at optimal times for the grid.

According to the utility, these organizations have come together to make the pilot program a key step in meeting Gov. Jerry Brown's goal of having 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on California roads by 2025.

‘We are very pleased to enter into this agreement with such a diverse group of stakeholders all working together to promote clean electric vehicles,’ says Jim Avery, SDG&E's senior vice president for power supply. ‘More than 50 percent of SDG&E's residential customers live in multi-family communities, where only a small fraction currently has access to charging. To ensure charging is accessible to all customers, our pilot will address gaps like this in the market.’

The settlement agreement supporting the EV pilot was signed by a wide variety of stakeholders, including SDG&E, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Sierra Club, the California Coalition of Utility Employees, the Greenlining Institute, ChargePoint Inc., NRG EV Services LLC, Smart Grid Services Siemens AG, Plug in America, General Motors, Honda Motors, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, KN Grid, CALSTART, the Center for Sustainable Energy and the Green Power Institute.

The agreement was submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), which will review the agreement and is expected to issue a final decision later this year.

SDG&E says the agreement calls for the utility to install charging infrastructure at up to 550 business and multi-family locations throughout its service territory, with 10 chargers at each location for a total of 5,500 separate chargers.

The pilot also will feature special rates that encourage EV customers to lower their fueling costs by charging their cars when electricity supply, including renewable energy, is plentiful and energy prices are low. With rates encouraging off-peak charging, the utility says vehicles would be efficiently integrated onto the grid, helping to avoid on-peak charging that drives the need to build more power plants and other electrical infrastructure.

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