National Plug-In Day 2012: San Francisco, with 60 Nissan Leafs in front of the Golden Gate BridgeEnlarge Photo
California continues to lead the United States, and in some ways the world, in efforts to reduce and eliminate harmful emissions from road vehicles.
Following the lead of Governor Jerry Brown, the state legislature and regulatory agencies have set aggressive goals to reduce emission of climate-change gases, primarily carbon dioxide.
That will be accomplished by boosting the number of zero-emission vehicles sold in the state, either battery-electric or hydrogen fuel-cell cars and light trucks.
Now, three large public utility companies have released programs and investments aimed at achieving those goals.
And their total tab will be roughly $1 billion, meaning this isn't just a handful of electric-car charging stations sprinkled here and there.
The three companies are Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), and Southern California Edison (SCE).
Southern California Edison Charge Ready electric-car charging programEnlarge Photo
Their proposals follow the release of a proposed update to the Climate Change Scoping Plan by the powerful California Air Resources Board.
CARB also recently completed its midterm review of its Zero Emission Vehicle program, concluding that it should stay in place through 2025 but boost requirements for sales of vehicles with no tailpipe emissions starting in 2026.
California Senate Bill 215, adopted in 2015, calls on utilities to launch "programs and investments to accelerate widespread transportation electrification to reduce dependence on petroleum, meet air quality standards, achieve the goals set forth in the Charge Ahead California Initiative, and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.”
Each utility proposes a different mix of infrastructure and adoption programs.