PG&E Proposes Subscription-Style EV Charging Rates

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) recently submitted a proposal to the California Public Utilities Commission to establish new commercial electric vehicle (EV) charging rates.

PG&E says its proposal is designed to make EV charging simpler and more affordable for fleet vehicles and charging stations at apartment buildings, workplaces and other public locations in central and northern California.

Currently, according to the utility, public or fleet EV chargers on PG&E’s commercial electric rates can see higher costs, on average, than the typical business customer. These costs, in turn, pose challenges to the expansion of EVs.

“Expanding the use of electric vehicles is essential for California to achieve its bold climate and clean air goals. As EV adoption has continued to grow in California, PG&E has recognized the need to create pricing plans that enable customers to take advantage of this clean technology that’s vital to our future,” says Steve Malnight, PG&E’s senior vice president for energy supply and policy. “Charging an electric vehicle is different than powering a building. EV charging will be simpler, more affordable and more consistent under this proposed plan.”

PG&E’s proposal would replace demand charges with new subscription pricing, which allows customers to choose the amount of power they need for their charging stations – similar to choosing a data plan for a cell phone bill. This subscription charge is much lower than current demand charges, and it allows customers to have simpler, more consistent monthly costs, the utility claims.

Stakeholders in the clean transportation sector were quick to endorse PG&E’s proposal:

“ChargePoint applauds PG&E for the innovative commercial electric vehicle rate proposal that will, if approved, benefit EV drivers by significantly reducing barriers for operating charging stations in California,” says Renee Samson, director of utility solutions for ChargePoint Inc. “ChargePoint was happy to collaborate with PG&E and others on the effort and hopes this rate design will serve as an example for utilities around the country moving to support transportation electrification.”

“As one of the largest energy providers in California, PG&E plays an essential role in accelerating the transition to electric vehicles,” adds Ryan Popple, CEO of Proterra. “PG&E’s proposal simplifies EV charging rate structures to make it more affordable.”

“Creative new rate designs that help transit fleets like ours save on fuel costs will help enable us to make the transition to a 100 percent clean fleet, further reducing emissions on behalf of the residents that rely upon our fleet for safe, efficient and reliable transportation throughout San Joaquin County,” says Donna DeMartino, CEO of the San Joaquin Regional Transit District. “Progress toward a zero-emission fleet requires solutions that address charging costs, infrastructure and incentives for vehicle replacements. PG&E’s proposed rate design provides a critical portion of that solution, and its approval will help bring us closer to our zero-emission goal.”

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