Proposal Calls for Extending the Power Your Drive Program to Meet Customer Demand, Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Improve Air Quality
SAN DIEGO, Nov. 12, 2019 – To meet customer demand for more electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure in the region, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) recently submitted a proposal to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to install 2,000 additional chargers at apartments, condominium complexes and workplaces – locations where most charging takes place.
The proposal seeks to extend SDG&E’s Power Your Drive (PYD) Program, which installed more than 3,000 EV chargers at 255 locations. If the CPUC approves SDG&E’s proposed PYD Extension Program, the company would install chargers at approximately 200 locations over two years.
“Our customers are telling us that they want to see more electric vehicle chargers where they live and work, and we’re enabling customers to save money by charging their vehicles at the right time — when renewable energy is high and demand on the grid is low,” said Estela de Llanos, vice president of clean transportation, sustainability and chief environmental officer at SDG&E. “By building more EV chargers, we are not just meeting customer demand and managing the grid more efficiently, we are also supporting state mandates to accelerate clean transportation, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality.”
California has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. The state has found that widespread transportation electrification is required to achieve that target as the transportation sector is the largest contributor to GHG emissions, accounting for more than 40 percent of all GHGs in the Golden State, according to the California Air Resources Board (CARB). To reduce transportation-related GHGs, California has set a goal to have 5 million EVs on the road by 2030. SDG&E’s proportion of that target is 500,000. This level of EV adoption requires a rapid expansion in charging infrastructure.
Today, the San Diego County-southern Orange County region served by SDG&E is home to about 47,000 EVs. EV adoption is particularly challenging for those who live in multi-unit housing because they don’t have an easy way to plug in. Fifty percent of SDG&E’s customers live in multi-unit communities. Without access to vehicle charging, there is virtually no way for these residents to ever become part of the solution to significantly reduce air pollution or to save money by fueling with electricity instead of gasoline. SDG&E’s initiative will help address infrastructure gaps in the market and ensure charging is accessible to all customers.
The CPUC approved SDG&E’s PYD Program as a four-year pilot in January 2016. It was a first-of-its kind program for the region. PYD focused on encouraging EV adoption by reducing cost barriers and providing access to charging for underserved customer segments. Within two years, the pilot was fully subscribed, and customers continued to add their names to the interest list. Today, the interest list includes several hundred properties and organizations looking to have EV charging infrastructure installed on their property by SDG&E.
The PYD Extension Program will help meet some of the existing customer demand for charging infrastructure while the state continues to develop more comprehensive guidance on how and where to deploy widespread transportation electrification.
Over 30 percent of the chargers installed under the PYD pilot are in communities of concern – areas that suffer from high levels of air pollution and tailpipe emissions due to their proximity to freeways or industrial facilities. SDG&E surpassed its original goal of 10 percent installation in those areas by more than three times.
Similar to the pilot program, the Extension Program will provide design, engineering and construction of the chargers for property owners at low or no cost. Customers can enjoy a special rate structure that incentivizes them to charge during hours when electricity supply, including renewable energy, is plentiful and energy prices are low.
California has led the way in de-carbonizing electricity in recent years, helping to pave the way for the modernization of the transportation sector. With SDG&E’s energy portfolio being made up of approximately 45 percent renewable energy and no coal contracts, EV drivers plug into one of the cleanest electric grids in America. Furthermore, with a special rate encouraging drivers at Power Your Drive sites to charge during times of day when solar power is at its peak, customers literally drive vehicles powered by sunshine. In fact, Power Your Drive customers charge on average with 78% renewable energy.
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 Energy (NYSE: SRE). For more information, visit SDGEnews.com or connect with SDG&E on Twitter (@SDGE), Instagram (@SDGE) and Facebook.