San Diego gets the green light to install massive EV charging infrastructure for heavy vehicles

Photo: San Diego Gas and Electric

Photo: San Diego Gas and Electric

By Nicholas Yekikian

Last week, the California Public Utilities Commission approved a San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) initiative to support the building and installation of charging infrastructure for at least 3,000 electric buses, trucks, and other medium and heavy-duty vehicles.

Combined with previously authorized initiatives, the plan represents the largest investment to replace old busses with EV city busses by any city across the country. Other equipment that will be electrified by this deal includes school buses, delivery trucks, forklifts and refrigerated semi-truck trailers, so even refrigerated goods will be hauled around on electric power.

“Imagine a future where zero-emission trucks carry produce and merchandise to your local stores and zero-emission school buses pick up and drop off your children,” said Estela de Llanos, vice president of clean transportation, sustainability and chief environmental officer at SDG&E. “With this new initiative, our region is headed to a new phase of the clean transportation movement.” 

Most EV charging infrastructures in major cities across the country are suited exclusively for passenger vehicles. SDG&E’s new program will be the first large-scale program to build chargers for heavier vehicles to accommodate heavier vehicles for local businesses and public agencies that are looking toward an emission free future. The hope here is that, if the city of San Diego makes charging electric vehicles easier, more businesses and agencies will adopt EV methods of transportation. The program will be implemented over the next five years. 

“Electrifying heavy-duty trucking in the border region and across San Diego County can help to improve the air that our communities breathe,” said David Flores, community development director of Casa Familiar, an organization devoted to protecting the quality of life for the border communities of San Ysidro and beyond. “SDG&E’s program is an important step for cleaner air.”

Worried about where all this power comes from? Don’t be. Almost half (45 percent to be exact) of the power used by the SDG&E comes from renewable sources like solar and wind – more than four times more than the national average. 

It seems like San Diego is the perfect city to test this idea. Hopefully it leads to widespread EV adoption for businesses and local government agencies alike. 

If you want more on the story, you can check out the full press release here.

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Nicholas YekikianComment