State officials have approved an expansive electric car charging infrastructure program from Southern California Edison (SCE) that will add about 38,000 new chargers throughout the utility’s 50,000-square-mile service area.
The program, known as Charge Ready 2, will be the nation’s largest light-duty electric vehicle (EV) charging program run by an investor-owned utility.
“This action by the California Public Utilities Commission is critical to supporting California’s transition from fossil fuel toward electrification,” says Katie Sloan, director of eMobility and building electrification at SCE.
“Also, investment in EV charging infrastructure can be a catalyst to help with economic recovery from COVID-19, while also supporting vital air quality and climate benefits to all communities,” she adds.
The program is an expansion of SCE’s Charge Ready pilot, which was launched three years ago. During the pilot phase, the utility partnered with businesses, local governments and other organizations to add more than 1,800 EV chargers at more than 100 sites. The $436 million Charge Ready 2 program will continue to focus on providing charging infrastructure at workplaces, public parking lots, schools, hospitals and destination centers.
Through Charge Ready, SCE installs and maintains the supporting EV charging infrastructure and provides rebates to reduce charging station costs, while participants typically own, operate and maintain qualified charging stations.
Charge Ready 2 also sets a target to locate 50% of the chargers in state-designated disadvantaged communities or economically impacted communities that suffer most from the effects of air pollution.
In addition to Charge Ready 2 for passenger EVs, SCE launched a program last year for trucks, buses and off-road industrial equipment. The largest program of its kind in the U.S., Charge Ready Transport aims to add charging to support at least 8,490 medium- and heavy-duty EVs over a five-year period. The $356 million program is also modeled after the Charge Ready pilot.