In a move signaling its commitment to electric-powered transit, Southern California Edison filed a plan with state regulators Friday that would fund the installation of charging stations for plug-in electric buses, trucks, cargo equipment and ride-sharing fleets.
SCE’s plans for growing mostly its commercial electric vehicle customer base would cost about $570 million spread over five years for construction and programs, said Laura Renger, SCE’s principal manager of air and climate policy from its Rosemead headquarters.
The plan for investing heavily in electric charging stations as a way to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions needs approval from the California Public Utilities Commission and is not expected to be heard until 2018. If approved, Edison hopes to roll out the five-year program in 2019, she said.
Commercial customers that want to swap out trucks, forklifts and buses burning highly polluting diesel fuel for those powered by electric motors using on-board batteries need electric charging stations on site. Without this infrastructure, they face a chicken-and-egg syndrome trying to decide what to buy first, the EV or the charger.
“We found our (commercial) customers are interested but part of what is holding them back is not having the charging infrastructure,” Renger said.