- The pilot phase of the Southern California Edison (SCE) Charge Ready Program was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), allowing the utility to proceed with the installation of up to 1,500 electric vehicle charging stations in its 50,000 square mile territory.
- The $22 million pilot will locate level two stations where people park their cars for extended periods of time, including workplaces, schools, and apartment and condo complexes. SCE will locate, design, and build the infrastructure, as well as offer incentives. Customers will own, operate, and maintain the stations.
- If the CPUC agrees the pilot is met with public acceptance, the utility would later be allowed to deploy up to 30,000 charging stations in a $333 million Phase 2 that would run through 2020.
If both phases are completed, the $355 million plan would cause a rate increase of $0.001/kWh, or 0.1% to 0.3% of the average bill, according to SCE.
As incentive to participate in Phase 1 as a charging station owner, SCE will offer rebates of 25% to 100% of the base price and installation, depending on locational and market segment uptake.
California’s Utility Reform Network and other ratepayer advocates have expressed interest and concern about rate impacts from utilities building charging station infrastructure, but backers of the plan say utilities are uniquely positioned to jumpstart the building of widespread EV infrastructure.
“Utilities have to be the ones because it will take a longer time and cost more than a private company will give it,” said Greenlots CEO Brett Hauser. “Utilities can rate base the charging infrastructure upgrades and consider what is best for the community. Private sector financial concerns will focus the infrastructure on narrower, more affluent markets.”
Greenlots was selected by SCE to supply software for the utility’s pilot workplace charging study. The utility wants to better understand consumer behavior when offered fee-based charging with different prices and demand response options.