California announces $95-million plan for charging infrastructure and ZEVs

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The California Energy Commission (CEC) has approved a $95-million plan to expedite the adoption of zero-emission vehicles. The plan focuses on closing an anticipated gap in EV charging infrastructure and increasing benefits to disadvantaged communities.

The 2019-2020 Investment Plan Update for the CEC’s Clean Transportation Program (formerly known as the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program) allocates $85.2 million for ZEV-related projects.

The plan calls for:

  • $32.7 million for light-duty EV charging infrastructure
  • $30 million for medium- and heavy-duty ZEVs and infrastructure
  • $20 million for hydrogen refueling infrastructure
  • $2.5 million for workforce development

The investment plan also allocates $10 million for production of “zero- and near-zero-carbon fuels.”

Despite considerable ongoing investments in public charging by the CEC, utilities, Electrify America and others, the CEC estimates that California will fall approximately 81,600 chargers short of the 250,000 needed to support the state’s goal of 1.5 million ZEVs on the road by 2025.

Among the solutions that the CEC is promoting to close the gap are:

  • Technologies that provide more effective charging
  • Zero-emission car- and ride-sharing programs that make better use of charging infrastructure
  • Streamlined incentives for charging infrastructure that leverage more private capital

The Clean Transportation Program was created in 2007, and has invested nearly $830 million to more than 600 projects covering a broad spectrum of alternative fuels and technologies.

“This plan makes strategic investments in zero-emission fuels and technologies, including charging infrastructure, that will help the state reach its climate and clean air goals,” said CEC Commissioner Patty Monahan. “We are tackling the chicken and egg problem of charging infrastructure and ZEVs, so electric vehicle drivers will feel more confident they can conveniently recharge their vehicles.”

Source: California Energy Commission via Green Car Congress