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25,000 Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Planned for California

Electric Vehicle Charging Station on California's West Coast Electric Highway
Electric Vehicle Charging Station on the West Coast Electric Highway

To help California meet its clean air goals, PG&E (Pacific Gas & Electric Company) have asked state regulators for permission to roll out an unprecedented 25,000 electric vehicle charging stations.

California seems to be a contradiction. On the one hand, California is one of the most advanced in terms of clean energy policy and technology, boasting the nation’s highest number of electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel stations. On the other hand, California also has the nation’s second-worst carbon dioxide emissions, about 10 tons per person, thanks mostly to the fact that California also has the highest number of vehicles on the road, over any other state. Tax and other incentives have made electric vehicles financially attractive, and that number is growing, but more is needed if California is going to encourage even more people to adopt the new technology.

Utility company PG&E figures that making electric vehicle charging more convenient could be the necessary push that drivers need. While most electric vehicle drivers charge at home, charging on the go can significantly increase the viable range of even shorter vehicles, such as the Chevy Volt or Nissan Leaf. Industry modeling suggests that California, if it is to meet its goal of 1.5 million zero-emissions vehicles by 2025, will need something on the order of 100,000 LII electric vehicle charging stations by 2020.

To that end, PG&E proposes the installation of some 25,000 LII electric vehicle charging stations, mostly in metropolitan areas, as well as working to educate the public on the benefits of emissions-free transportation. Additionally, 100 LIII DC fast-charging stations would be installed at key locations, enabling for zero-emissions travel between metropolitan areas. If the California Public Utilities Commission approves, PG&E says that the entire network could be up and running within five years.

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  1. Take a long range look and you see only the need for quick charge stations along major highways; many predict 200 mile batteries by 2017…that’s plenty if you charge overnight at home…and you only need charge at QC stations when you drive long distances. PG&E should install QC stations and perhaps include a Level 2 station as a backup. Also,PG&E. doesn’t need ratepayer money. Let them take a chance instead of hedging their bets.


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