The Benefits of Working with CARB and CEC

October 21, 2020 11:00 pm

The California Energy Commission (CEC) bills itself as a pioneer in “leading the state to a 100% clean energy future.” It recently celebrated its 45th birthday and will be launching a “Clean Energy Hall of Fame” by announcing on December 10th awards honoring groups that are successfully contributing to a carbon-neutral California.

Similarly, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is tasked with developing initiatives to combat the damaging effects of smog and air pollution – something our state knows a little bit about – and they’ve been instrumental in promoting cap-and-trade, LCFS credits and ZEV programs.

This is all to say that these are exactly the sort of organizations we’re proud to work with as we deploy EV charging infrastructure across the state, which simultaneously increases clean energy consumption while decreasing greenhouse gases and other air pollutants.

According to the CEC, cumulative lifetime light-duty ZEV sales in the Golden State through Q2 of 2020 have reached nearly three quarters of a million units, with nearly 10% of that occurring in Q1-Q2 of 2020 alone. This clearly shows a growing demand for clean energy vehicles and, in turn, a need for the infrastructure that will support them.

At last count, the state played host to 62,037 EV chargers – 56.5% of which were privately owned, with the remaining 43.5% available to the public. No surprise to us that the counties with the largest number of DC fast chargers are Los Angeles, Orange and Santa Clara, which boast denser urban populations. These counties are, incidentally, the only three out of California’s 58 counties with 400+ DCFC installations, meaning there’s plenty of opportunity for growth across the state.

As we march toward 2035, the reality of Governor Newsom’s executive order requiring all new car sales in California to be ZEVs will (hopefully) motivate counties to action, especially those that have otherwise been slow to adopt clean fuel infrastructure. Nearly a dozen counties don’t have a single DC fast charger and approximately 25% have just 10 or less level 2 chargers – across the whole county!

We’ve always maintained that the greatest barrier to entry in the EV marketplace is the lack of reliable charging options outside single-family homes. But as we grow, so too does our ability to change these statistics. Our turnkey EV solutions have brought numerous benefits to local municipalities across a number of case studies, including additional tax dollars from increased sales (retail, auto, energy, etc.) and rising property values.

While we continue to build installations in areas with high-density populations, which account for a plurality of EV sales, we also want to focus attention on areas of the state with a dearth of installations in order to incentivize greater EV sales there.

For instance, very little EV infrastructure exists in any California counties north of Sonoma, Napa and Sacramento. Plugging these gaps will facilitate more travel between California and other northwestern states like Oregon and Washington, where we’ve already began upgrading the West Coast Electric Highway. More sites also need to be added between LA and San Francisco, with prominent routes through Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey and Santa Cruz counties still lacking.

Bottom line: with assistance from the CEC, whose Clean Transportation Program invests up to $100 million annually in projects across the state, and CARB, whose Zero-Emission Vehicle Program is designed to transition drivers from petroleum to clean energy sources through regulation, we believe EVCS has the tools to help California meet its statewide emissions targets and other EV-related goals over the next decade and a half.

Up-to-date statistics on statewide EV charging infrastructure can be found here: https://tableau.cnra.ca.gov/t/CNRA_CEC/views/DMVDataPortal_15986380698710/ZEVInfrastructure?%3AshowAppBanner=false&%3Adisplay_count=n&%3AshowVizHome=n&%3Aorigin=viz_share_link&%3AisGuestRedirectFromVizportal=y&%3Aembed=y

See what the CEC has to say about the transition to zero-emission mobility here: https://www.energy.ca.gov/programs-and-topics/programs/clean-transportation-program/clean-transportation-funding-areas-0

See what CARB is doing to advance ZEV sales throughout California here: https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/zev-collaboration

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