PG&E Proposes Major Build-Out of EV Charging Stations

Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), which recently highlighted its efforts to spread the use of natural gas vehicles, is now showing continued support for electric vehicles (EVs).

The San Francisco-based utility has asked state regulators for permission to build an estimated 25,000 EV chargers at sites across its service area in Northern and Central California. If approved, this program would be the largest deployment of EV charging stations in the U.S., according to PG&E. The utility says it is a strong supporter of transportation electrification, with more than 1,200 electric-base vehicles in its own fleet.

 “Our proposed build-out of EV charging infrastructure aims to accelerate customer adoption of clean, quiet and efficient plug-in vehicles by reducing lingering range anxiety,” says Tony Earley, president and CEO of PG&E. “It reflects our commitment to helping the state of California meet its critical clean air and greenhouse-gas emissions reduction goals by promoting cleaner transportation.”

 According to the utility, more than 60,000 plug-in EVs are currently registered in its service area.

The new chargers would be located at commercial and public locations, including multi-family dwellings, retail centers and workplaces. All of the 25,000 new stations would have Level 2 chargers, which provide up to 25 miles of range for every hour of charging. To support travel between metropolitan areas, PG&E would also install at key locations 100 DC fast chargers, which can recharge an EV's battery in about 30 minutes.

The utility says the chargers would be provided at no cost to the site host. PG&E proposes to own all of the infrastructure, but it would contract with third parties to build, install and maintain the chargers and manage customer billing.

PG&E also plans to provide tools and educational materials for site hosts and customers to learn about the benefits of EVs.

The utility expects that the program will take about five years to complete following approval by the California Public Utilities Commission.

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