On August 15, 2019, the California Public Utilities Commission approved with modification San Diego Gas and Electric’s Senate Bill 350 Transportation Electrification Proposals. The programs focus on medium and heavy duty electrification and align with the directives established in SB 350. The legislation seeks to rapidly accelerate transportation electrification throughout California and requires state agencies to direct the utilities under regulatory oversight to undertake transportation electrification activities. The $107 million medium-and heavy-duty electric vehicle program includes make-ready investment for charging infrastructure supporting up to 6,000 electric buses and trucks. SDG&E originally proposed to own the charging infrastructure installed through the program, but the commission decided the utility should carry out make-ready investment instead. 30 percent of charging stations will serve disadvantaged communities.
The program also includes a $1.7 million pilot for electric school buses exploring vehicle-to-grid applications. The pilot will explore the feasibility of bi-directional power flow where buses can be used as energy storage resources during the day when renewable energy generation is highest and supply electricity to the grid when demand is highest. The utility will own the charging infrastructure included in the school bus pilot.
This increases the pool of electric utility investment in medium- and heavy-duty electrification in the state. Pacific Gas and Electric and Southern California Edison, the other two largest utilities in the state, were approved to invest a combined $592 million in 2018 to support charging infrastructure deployment to serve electric trucks and buses.
(hat tip to Max Baumhefner)