San Francisco — In a 5-0 vote, the California Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved Southern California Edison’s groundbreaking “Charge Ready” program, a plan initiated by the utility to deploy 1,500 charging stations within its service territory and to educate customers about the benefits of electric vehicles.
To date, the $22 million “Charge Ready” program is the largest program of its kind approved in the U.S., and will run for approximately 18 months. The second phase of the program aims to deploy another 28,500 charging stations, building on lessons learned in the pilot phase approved yesterday.
“Charge Ready” targets sites where there is a lack of charging infrastructure, in particular workplaces and apartment complexes, and will also improve access to charging and clean transportation options in disadvantaged communities exposed to harmful air pollution. The program will lower barriers to EV ownership for those living outside of single-family homes and without easy access to charging, increase the number of electric miles driven, and incentivize charging during off-peak hours at night and during the day. Electric vehicles, even when factoring in the source of electricity, are cleaner than conventional-gas powered vehicles.
The proposal approved yesterday was put forward in a settlement agreement supported by Southern California Edison and 16 organizations, including the Sierra Club, National Resources Defense Council, Environmental Defense Fund, consumer groups, environmental justice advocates, EV drivers, automakers, EV charging companies, and labor unions.
In response, Sierra Club Attorney Joe Halso released the following statement:
“We applaud the Commission on yesterday’s decision, which puts Southern California on the road to healthier air and a more reliable electric grid by improving drivers’ access to our cleanest and cheapest transportation fuel — electricity. The unanimously approved Charge Ready program will make electric vehicle charging available in apartment complexes, workplaces, and low-income neighborhoods where harmful air pollution from dirty transportation sickens communities.
“With charging stations at the ready, electric vehicles are a reliable and convenient option for people without the capability to charge in their home. Now, many more apartments, condominiums and workplaces will provide the opportunity for green transportation, cutting down on dangerous pollution that dirties our air and harms our health and climate.”
About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.4 million members and supporters. In addition to helping people from all backgrounds explore nature and our outdoor heritage, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action.