On April 16, 2020, the CPUC approved with modification a plan authorizing an interim commercial EV rate for San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E). The utility was directed to design this new rate as part of its approval for the Medium-Duty and Heavy-Duty Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Program issued in August 2019. The $109 million program included make-ready investment for charging infrastructure supporting up to 6,000 electric buses and trucks, at least 30 percent of which will serve or operate in disadvantaged communities. The program also includes a $1.7 million pilot for electric school buses exploring vehicle-to-grid applications, allowing the utility to 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 approved interim rate will give participating commercial customers access to existing time-of-use schedules as well as exemptions from the maximum demand limit. The utility will collect information on participation in this rate to inform the design of a permanent commercial rate for medium- and heavy-duty vehicle charging.
With this approval, SDG&E now joins the other two major investor-owned-utilities in California in offering separate rates for electric bus and truck charging to help fleet operators achieve low-cost charging. These programs include subscription-based charging services and reduced demand charges to maximize the savings potential for fleet managers seeking to electrify. California is one of just four states opting to develop special rates tailored to reduce the cost of refueling fleet vehicles.
(hat tip to Miles Muller)