Southern California Edison (SCE) has announced the launch of its Charge Ready electric vehicle (EV) pilot program, which will add as many as 1,500 EV charging stations to SCE’s service area. The electric utility says it will bring representatives of local businesses and other organizations together this week to learn how they can take part in the pilot.
The $22 million Charge Ready program aims to get more EV charging stations installed at locations where cars are parked for long periods of time – for example, at workplaces, apartment and condo complexes, fleet vehicle parking lots, campuses, and recreational areas.
“We are excited to partner with employers, landlords, universities and other organizations to make it more convenient to charge electric vehicles in Southern California,” says Caroline Choi, SCE’s vice president for energy and environmental policy.
Under the Charge Ready program, participants – or site hosts – will own, operate and maintain the EV charging stations, and SCE will install and maintain the supporting electrical infrastructure at no cost to participants, says SCE.
As previously reported, SCE will offer rebates to offset some or all of the costs of the stations and their installation, depending on the location and type of establishment, as an additional incentive to participate. The program also calls for at least 10% of the charging stations to be installed in disadvantaged communities.
“What separates Charge Ready from other electric vehicle charging programs is that it encourages broad market participation, customer choice and technology innovation,” Choi says. “Participants will have the ability to select equipment suppliers and charging services based on their site’s needs.”
At the pilot’s conclusion, SCE plans to seek authority from the California Public Utilities Commission to expand the program to about 30,000 charging stations for a total estimated cost of $355 million.