Chargers near the U.S./Mexico border speed up charging for trucks, delivery vans, buses and other large vehicles.
SAN DIEGO, MARCH 27, 2023 – Today, San Diego Gas & Electric, along with local and state officials, unveiled four public, direct current (DC) fast chargers at a busy truck stop just north of the Otay Mesa Port of Entry – the first of its kind to open at a truck stop in California to serve medium and heavy-duty vehicles. While these chargers are designed to provide high power charging for trucks, delivery vans, buses and other large vehicles, they can also be used to charge passenger cars.
Installed at Truck Net LLC, 8490 Avenida de la Fuente, near the U.S./Mexico border, the 250-kilowatt (kW) chargers can provide up to 250 miles per hour of charging for a passenger car. They can charge a typical medium-duty box truck from 20%-80% in about an hour and fully charge from empty to 100% in about two hours.
The Otay Mesa Port of Entry is the busiest commercial border crossing in California, processing nearly one million commercial trucks and five million privately owned vehicles each year. Idling vehicles waiting to cross the border is a key contributor to air pollution in the San Diego region.
“Reducing air pollution and tailpipe emissions are top priorities for our region and California especially in equity priority communities, and SDG&E is committed to building the infrastructure needed to enable businesses and residents to adopt electric vehicles and other clean technologies,” said SDG&E CEO Caroline Winn. “We all share the goal of building a cleaner, more sustainable and healthier future.”
Winn was joined by several dignitaries at the event, including California Energy Commissioner (CEC) Patty Monahan; San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chair Nora Vargas, who serves on the California Air Resources Board and the County Air Pollution Control District board, in addition to being chair of the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) board.
“Air pollution doesn't recognize national boundaries, and to accommodate the transition to zero-emission trucks on both sides of the border, it's critically important that we rapidly scale up the charging network," said Commissioner Monahan. "The California Energy Commission is helping fund this project and others across the state to build a better and more equitable charging infrastructure system for both cars and trucks."
The chargers are funded by a $200,000 grant through the CEC’s Clean Transportation Program. Now in its 14th year, the program has been an essential part in making California a leader in zero-emission transportation, providing more than $1 billion to alternative fuel and vehicle technology projects that deliver health, environmental, and economic benefits to communities. Funding for the program is scheduled to phase out at the end of the year.
SDG&E built the underlying infrastructure tying the chargers to the grid, as part of its Power Your Drive for Fleets program. The program connects fleet operators with resources and financial incentives to easily and cost-effectively design and install charging infrastructure for medium and heavy-duty fleets.
Chair Vargas, who represents Otay Mesa and who is a leading champion of environmental justice and equity, emphasized the importance of reducing emissions in border communities and communities of color that have historically been overburdened by pollution due their proximity to high traffic corridors.
“As a fronteriza and someone who has experienced first-hand the air pollution associated with long lines of idling vehicles waiting to cross the border, I am thrilled to see the electric vehicle chargers installed at this truck stop,” said Supervisor Nora Vargas, chair of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. “This is a true community infrastructure solution that proves that through public-private partnerships, we can improve poor air quality for families and children and promote economic prosperity for the binational region.”
The project helps support Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive order requiring sales of all new passenger vehicles to be zero-emission by 2035 and medium and heavy-duty vehicles (class2b-8) to be zero-emission by 2045 where feasible. According to the CEC, nearly a million battery-electric cars have been sold in California and nearly 2,000 zero-emission trucks and buses are on the road today. The state also has more than 80,000 public and shared private EV chargers. The vast majority, about 90%, are Level 2 chargers, which provide 14-35 miles of range per hour of charging. The remaining 10% are DC fast chargers.
SDG&E is an innovative San Diego-based energy company that provides clean, safe and reliable energy to better the lives of the people it serves in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The company is committed to creating a sustainable future by providing its electricity from renewable sources; modernizing natural gas pipelines; accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles; supporting numerous non-profit partners; and, investing in innovative technologies to ensure the reliable operation of the region’s infrastructure for generations to come. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra (NYSE: SRE). For more information, visit SDGEnews.com or connect with SDG&E on Twitter (@SDGE), Instagram (@SDGE) and Facebook.