California utilities commission OKs $776.5 million to boost electric vehicle use

In what is considered the largest single investment by any state to promote electric vehicles, California utility regulators Thursday approved $776.5 million to fund and evaluate projects that will be carried out over the space of five years by the state’s three investor-owned utilities.

The portion assigned to San Diego Gas & Electric accounts for $137 million and includes providing rebates for customers to install up to 60,000 charging stations in homes for electric vehicles (EVs) for what is called the “Residential Charging Program.”

For those taking part, SDG&E will offer customers the option to enroll in an EV-only rate that varies by the hour, depending on forecasts of conditions on the electric grid.

The programs adopted by the two other utilities, Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison, concentrate more on charging infrastructure for electric trucks, buses and heavy-duty equipment. Edison’s initiative totals $343 million and PG&E’s programs come to $258 million.

. . . The money for the programs will come from ratepayers.

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