Southern California Edison Charge Ready electric-car charging programEnlarge Photo
Electric utility Southern California Edison (SCE) is moving ahead with plans to install electric-car charging stations within its service area.
As part of a pilot program, it plans to work with property owners to facilitate the installation of 1,500 charging stations.
The program, called Charge Ready, kicked off May 27. SCE has committed $22 million in funding for it.
Charging stations will be installed at workplaces, apartment and condo complexes, fleet-vehicle parking lots, and college campuses, according to an SCE statement on the program (via Charged EVs).
These types of locations were chosen on the assumption that a high proportion of vehicles will be parked for four hours or more.
SCE did not specify what kind of charging equipment will be installed, but this strategy should fit well with 240-volt Level 2 AC stations, which typically take hours to fully charge an electric car.
2016 Nissan LeafEnlarge Photo
Under the program, a minimum of 10 charging stations will be installed at one location in most cases.
For locations in disadvantaged communities, the minimum is lowered to 5 stations. At least 10 percent of the total number of stations must be installed in disadvantaged communities.
SCE will pay for the electrical infrastructure to support the stations, but property owners will have to contract with vendors for the stations themselves.
Participants will pay for the stations and their maintenance, although SCE will provide rebates to offset some of these costs.
2017 Chevrolet VoltEnlarge Photo
California already has a developed network of public charging stations, but electric utilities are only now getting involved in its expansion.
Utilities in other states directly operate networks of charging stations, but this was not allowed in California until a ruling by the state's Public Utilities Commission in December 2014.
Earlier this year, the Public Utilities Commission approved charging-infrastructure projects proposed by both SCE and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E).
If the 1,500-station pilot program goes well, SCE plans to seek approval for the installation of up to 30,000 charging stations.