California Utilities Join to Support Regional Electric Vehicle Charging Network

California Utilities Join to Support Regional Electric Vehicle Charging Network

MOU Promotes Regional Travel, Equity, Affordability and Emission Reductions

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Today, during a virtual event with Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, the California Electric Transportation Coalition and California utilities announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support a California Regional Charging Network. The MOU encourages cooperation and leadership amongst the California utilities to build out a regional network of chargers in support of California’s ambitious goals to electrify the transportation sectors in California.

The MOU was signed by the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP), Northern California Power Agency (NCPA), Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE), with additional utilities planning to join soon.

The MOU encourages cooperation and leadership in support of electric cars and trucks traveling along key corridors in California and beyond to reduce pollution, protect public health, advance equity, and support access to electric cars and trucks for all Californians.

“We’re proud to support a partnership that aims to maximize EV infrastructure throughout the State,” said Paul Lau, CEO and General Manager of SMUD. “We recognize that achieving the State’s emission reduction goals will take a collective effort and we’re happy to be aligned with utilities and municipalities that support that effort. Creating clean travel corridors throughout the State benefits everyone, especially our disadvantaged residents who disproportionately live near these corridors. We hope that this MOU will support the purchase and use of EVs while bolstering the confidence of drivers who move about our State.”

“Providing the infrastructure needed to support widespread electric vehicle adoption is critical to breaking down one of the biggest barriers to EV adoption,” said Pedro J. Pizarro, president and CEO of Edison International, parent company of Southern California Edison. “Edison is committed to doing our part to ensure electrification of the transportation sector is truly equitable.”

The California utilities will be working together to identify key locations for charging infrastructure in support of regional travel across the state, identify those locations that minimize grid impacts and customer costs, and define charging infrastructure characteristics that lead to more user-friendly car and truck charging.

“No single utility on its own can create a regional charging network to eliminate range anxiety,” said SDG&E CEO Caroline Winn. “But by working together within a framework of shared values, we can make a bigger collective impact to benefit all Californians and advance our state’s global leadership in clean transportation.

This MOU and collaboration grew from the ongoing commitment in California to zero-emission mobility and goods movement, recently highlighted by Governor Newsom in Executive Order N-79-20. Under the order, 100 percent of sales of new cars and drayage trucks are to be zero-emission by 2035 and all on-road cars and trucks are to be zero-emissions by 2045. Although California has built out its charging infrastructure at a commendable rate, much more is needed to meet the State’s zero-emission car and truck goals and ensure that all Californians have access to safe, clean and affordable electricity fuel.

“At LADWP, we recognize the tremendous benefits to transitioning California’s vehicle fleet to electricity fuel, and we are committed to doing our part to ensure this transition is truly equitable. The opportunities to benefit from this transition apply to all Californians whether or not they own or operate an electric vehicle, these kinds of collaborations help improve and ensure those benefits,” said Reiko Kerr, LADWP Sr. Assistant General Manager, Power System Engineering and Technical Services.

The MOU specifically calls out the need to support and engage with local and diverse communities along the regional corridors. The MOU emphasizes equity and community inclusion, as part of the participating utilities core values.

“The California utilities have led the nation on clean, renewable, electricity and support for electrification. I look forward to this collaborative effort and to seeing it expand with partnerships and collaboration across the United States that benefit all EV drivers by ensuring they can travel freely within and outside the State,” said Eileen Tutt, Executive Director, California Electric Transportation Coalition.

A copy of the MOU can be found here.