The utility company, Southern California Edison (SCE) has launched the Charge Ready Transport programme with a budget of around $356 million USD. The scheme offers commercial clients the installation of charging stations for medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles for free and some rebates on top.
SCE’s Charge Ready Transport initiative will fund installations at a minimum of 870 commercial sites within the utility’s 50,000 square-mile service area over a five year period. The SCE expects to support at least 8,490 medium- and heavy-duty fleet vehicles within that time.
Vehicles supported by the programme include vans and tractor trailers, school and transit buses, forklifts and airport ground support equipment but operators are expected to buy at least two electric vehicles to become eligible for the free installation of charging stations. Katie Sloan, SCE’s director of eMobility expects to see a “wide variation in this program, including customers that are smaller businesses and may only have a couple of EVs”. Besides, some customers will be eligible for rebates to buy the charging station equipment, including public transport agencies and school bus operators.
Caroline Choi, Edison International and SCE Senior Vice President explained the utility’s vision which “calls for more than 7 million electric vehicles on California roads by 2030, but we need to electrify more than just passenger vehicles,” added the VP.
The program requires a 10-year right-of-way for SCE naturally with various tariffs on offer. Customers will be able to access new time-of-use rates designed for electric vehicles, which mean no demand charges until 2024, after which a slow phase-in of charges will be introduced through to 2029, says SCE.
For the utility, this business model has advantages as it opens a new market addressing commercial clients. Also, fleets usually exhibit regular charge times, so that charge management and grid balancing become easier to predict.
SCE says it will now engage with more customers about Charge Ready Transport and review applications. It will launch initial site inspections in the coming weeks and months.