San Diego Gas & Electric got the go-ahead Thursday to build charging stations for electric cars, trucks, busses, and industrial machinery around the county.
The utility was given permission by the California Public Utilities Commission to begin a charging infrastructure project that will power a minimum of 3,000 medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicles.
It will be the first large-scale project in the region to build a charging network that will supply local businesses and public agencies looking to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.
“Imagine a future where zero-emission trucks carry produce and merchandise to your local stores and zero-emission school buses pick up and drop off your children,” said Estela de Llanos, vice president of clean transportation, sustainability and chief environmental officer at SDG&E. “With this new initiative, our region is headed to a new phase of the clean transportation movement.”
The project also includes a vehicle-to-grid energy sharing system that will allow electric vehicles to store grid and solar energy in batteries and redistribute it back to the grid at times when the demand for grid energy is high.
SDG&E said that, according to the California Air Resources Board (CARB), California’s transportation sector produces more than 40 percent of all greenhouse gases.
Thirty percent of the charging equipment will be installed in areas suffering from the worst pollution, socio-economic distress, and pollution-related health threats.
SDG&E’s service area, which includes San Diego County and southern Orange County, is home to more than 103,000 Class 2 through Class 8 commercial vehicles, the utility said. Those heavy-duty vehicles produce more particulate matter than all of the state's power plants combined.
The utility also wants to set up an electricity pricing plan that would foster pricing competition and make electricity a more viable transportation fuel for businesses.
SDG&E said the initiative will be implemented over a 5-year span.
Under a statewide mandate to reduce greenhouse gases by 40 percent below the 1990 level by the year 2030, SDG&E has already installed 3,000 chargers at apartments, condo complexes and workplaces, and has installed charging equipment for electric delivery vehicles, shuttles, and ground support equipment at the San Diego International Airport, and trucks, forklifts and other equipment at the Port of San Diego.