ROSEMEAD, Calif. — The largest electric power utility in Southern California announced a $436 million plan to install electric vehicle chargers throughout its 50,000-square-mile service area. Southern California Edison’s Charge Ready program will install 38,000 charging stations over the next five years.
“Edison strongly supports aggressive and feasible economy-wide greenhouse gas reduction targets to achieve decarbonization,” Edison International Chief Executive Officer Pedro Pizarro said Monday during the plan’s online unveiling.
Edison International is the parent company of Southern California Edison, which, with a service area that includes LA, Orange, Riverside, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Bernardino Counties, is one of the country’s largest electric utilities.
Noting that the transportation sector produces half of California’s greenhouse gas emissions, Pizarro said, “Transportation electrification is the largest near-term opportunity to affordably reduce greenhouse gas emissions and clean our air.”
The utility estimates that to reach California’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2045, the state will need 26 million electric vehicles on its roads: three-fourths of light-duty vehicles, two-thirds of medium-duty vehicles and one-third of heavy-duty vehicles. To stay on track with that goal, more than 7 million EVs will be needed by 2030.
“Progress is being made, but we need to increase the pace of EV adoption and supportive infrastructure by rapidly deploying charging to both passenger and medium- and heavy-duty vehicles where needed and where it is easily accessible for all of us, especially in environmental justice communities long burdened by pollution impacts.”
Because one-third of Southern California Edison’s customers live in apartments and condominiums and have limited access to at-home charging, the Charge Ready plan calls for charger installations at workplaces, public parking lots, schools, hospitals, destinations and multifamily housing units.
It also sets a target of locating 50% of the charging sites in communities that are disadvantaged and economically impacted by the negative effects of air pollution.
Southern California Edison began its Charge Ready transportation electrification program in 2014, partnering with businesses, local governments and other organizations to install 2,745 chargers at 146 sites. Since then, it has installed another 2,745 chargers for transit buses and at schools and parks.
But under the plan it says is the largest utility-led EV infrastructure investment in the nation, Southern California Edison plans to increase the number of chargers it installs tenfold, to as many as 10,000 per year.