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SDG&E Joins Other Utilities in Backing EV Infrastructure

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DW Keefer's picture
Journalist Independent Journalist and Analyst

DW Keefer is a Denver-based energy journalist who writes extensively for national and international publications on all forms of electric power generation, utility regulation, business models...

  • Member since 2017
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  • Oct 6, 2020

San Diego Gas & Electric said it launched a program to deploy charging infrastructure to support zero-emission buses, trucks, forklifts and other medium-and heavy-duty vehicles and equipment.

The utility also said it planned to transition its entire operations fleet to zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) by 2040.

The customer-facing program, known as Power Your Drive for Fleets, will install charging infrastructure to support 300 locations and facilitate the deployment of at least 3,000 medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles in the San Diego region over the next five years.

The utility program will help fleet owners with reduced electricity pricing plans, financial incentives and rebates, as well as site design, permitting, construction, activation, maintenance and upgrade support.

The program offers additional rebates on charging equipment for schools, transit agencies, and eligible sites located in communities with socio-economic disadvantages, including air pollution due to proximity to traffic or large commercial/industrial facilities.

SDG&E said it aims to electrify all of its light-duty fleet vehicles and transition 30% of its overall fleet to ZEVs by 2030. Since 2010, SDG&E has replaced 17% of its fleet with low-emission vehicles.

The California utility joins other utilities in transitioning their own vehicles to zero-emission models. In late September, American Electric Power announced it plans to replace all of its 2,300 cars and light-duty trucks with electric alternatives by 2030. The Ohio-based utility estimated the move will help it avoid using more than 10 million gallons of fuel, amounting to a $40 million savings in fuel costs over the life of the vehicles.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Oct 6, 2020

"San Diego Gas & Electric said it launched a program to deploy charging infrastructure to support zero-emission buses, trucks, forklifts and other medium-and heavy-duty vehicles and equipment."

David, since the 2012 shutdown of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station:

  • SDG&E consumes 40% of natural gas piped into San Diego County to generate electricity.
  • The utility, a subsidiary of Sempra International Corp., buys its gas from Southern California Gas Co., another Sempra subsidiary, then bills whatever price it paid to ratepayers. With all profits flowing through to Sempra International, Sempra could make up whatever price it likes for gas, and SDG&E customers are forced to pay it. That, or do without electricity.
  • In 2018 SDG&E had not only the most expensive electricity in California, but the entire continental U.S. ($.28/kWh).
  • Due to a stipulation in AB 162 (2009 ), SDG&E is allowed to claim 37% of its electricity comes from "Unspecified Sources of Power" beyond California borders - even if the utility knows exactly where it's coming from. Because it can't be used to meet state emissions goals, presumably all of it comes from out-of-state fossil fuel producers (coal, gas, and oil).

To accept the notion any electric vehicle charged in San Diego Country is "zero-emission", and isn't likely responsible for more emissions than burning gasoline, would be in denial of demonstrable fact.

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