California North Coast clean energy agencies amp up efforts for more electric vehicle chargers
California is on pace to be about 50,000 electric vehicle chargers short of its goal to have 250,000 in place to service 5 million zero-emission cars envisioned to be on the road by 2030, a new report shows.
As part of California Assembly Bill 2127 labeled the EV Charging Infrastructure Assessment, the California Energy Commission is required to make an analysis on the progress of weaning off gas-powered vehicles.
In the North Bay, advocates say progress is being made.
Across its service area, MCE (Marin Clean Energy) has installed 850 level-2 charging ports, which uses a 240-volt power source capable of providing a range of 10- to 20 miles of power per charge. Another 350 ports in the works. The utility company has undergone the extensive effort for three years.
“MCE’s EV charging infrastructure program has shown that we can deliver affordable projects, saving customers money and making charging more widespread,” spokeswoman Jenna Tenney told the Business Journal.
To the east, Sonoma Clean Power allows for breaks on monthly bills to customers in Sonoma and Mendocino counties if they sign up to have free charging stations installed through its Grid Savvy program.
Sonoma Clean Power has assisted with submitting 432 applications for its customers wanting to access the CalEVIP program, with another 36 pending.
According to the commission, more than 73,000 chargers statewide have been installed to date, with an additional 123,000 planned within the next four years.
Beyond the 1.2 million chargers needed for passenger vehicles, the commission has determined that another 157,000 is needed to support the 180,000 medium- and heavy-duty electric trucks and buses that are also coming on board in this developing marketplace. The potential for electric trucks taking off has been launched with a workhorse, electric Ford F150 dubbed “Lightning” — with a television ad that boldly insists you “remember where you were when you first heard about it.”
The commission is tasked with checking where California is every other year in its quest to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030. And Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a mandate for all new passenger vehicles sold to have zero emissions by five years after that.
“We need to bridge the gap in electric vehicle charging or we won’t meet our goals for zeroing out harmful pollution from transportation,” Commissioner Patty Monahan said in a statement. “California isn’t backing down from the challenge because the health of our communities and planet is at stake.”
The climate change-driven effort comes with massive support that goes beyond government officials.
The state’s EV chargers incentive program named the California Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project has received a lot of hits, with bonus funding for fast chargers selling out within minutes of the applications opening.
MCE is assisting its customers in navigating the incentive program to gain access to $2.7 million in funding that opened up in May.
Susan Wood covers law, cannabis, production, energy, transportation, agriculture as well as banking and finance. For 25 years, Susan has worked for a variety of publications including the North County Times, now a part of the Union Tribune in San Diego County, along with the Tahoe Daily Tribune and Lake Tahoe News. She graduated from Fullerton College. Reach her at 530-545-8662 or firstname.lastname@example.org