SCE Offer Incentives To Install 1,500 EV Chargers


The California Public Utilities Commission has green lighted a program by Southern California Edison to incentivize the deployment of approximately 1,500 public electric vehicle charging stations. The plan also includes education and outreach in support of electric transportation.

The approval by the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) marks a change in policy. Previously, the state of California had banned utilities from becoming investors in public EV charging, saying they represented an unfair competitive threat to independent parties in the growing EV charging station market.

The CPUC approval clears the way for Southern California Edison (SCE) to begin implementing its $22 million “Charge Ready” program. The program's goal is to install and maintain the electrical infrastructure needed to charge electric vehicles in public locations where people park their cars for extended periods of time including workplaces, campuses, recreational areas and apartment and condominium complexes.

To encourage participation in the program, SCE will offer rebates of between 25% and 100% of the base cost of the charging stations and their installation. The amount of the incentive is dependent on location and market segment. The program also states that at least 10% of the charging stations will be installed in disadvantaged communities.

The program also provides funding for education and outreach to develop awareness about the benefits of electric vehicles and charging from the power grid. SCE also received approval to offer new advisory services to help its business customers learn about transportation electrification technologies.

In a release by SCE from January 14, 2016, Caroline Choi, SCE Vice President for Energy and Environmental Policy said, “A major barrier to electric vehicle ownership is that there aren’t enough charging stations where people normally park their cars. We believe that by giving electric vehicle owners more options to charge their vehicles, this program can actually help to accelerate the market in Southern California.”

As part of the pilot program, SCE will validate its cost estimates and program incentives, identify and address field deployment issues, and refine its market education strategies. An Advisory Board will review and provide input, guidance, and suggestions on the execution and improvement of the pilot.

After the conclusion of the pilot program, SCE will seek authority from the CPUC to expand the program to bring the total number of charging stations to about 30,000 for a total estimated cost of $355 million. 

Choi said the program will help move California closer to its objective of putting 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025, which will in turn support the state’s goal to reduce greenhouse gases and meet deadlines for federal clean air standards.

SCE began accepting applications from prospective participants in March 2016.


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