California Approves Record Utility Spending for Electric Cars

California is making a $738 million investment to replace gas-guzzling cars, buses and trucks with electric vehicles.

Electric Vehicles and Energy Consumption

  • Electric vehicle-related electricity consumption is projected to increase in the US from the current 1 terawatt-hour — consumed annually by the 580,000 EVs sold in the US as of February 2017 — to a whopping 33 terawatt-hours annually by 2025, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance,
  • That is a 33-fold increase in the amount of electricity that will be filling the tanks of America’s vehicles in seven years.

Members of the California Public Utilities Commission voted 5-0 Thursday to approve the largest U.S. utility investment to date in an effort to accelerate the Golden State’s push to combat global warming. It will fund programs at PG&E Corp., Edison International and Sempra Energy.

The decision comes after California passed a law in 2015 calling for agencies to direct utilities to invest in electrifying transportation to help cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2030. Vehicles are the state’s largest source of carbon emissions.

The programs include funding for Sempra’s San Diego Gas & Electric to offer rebates and installation services for home charging stations, money for PG&E to install infrastructure for fast charging stations and funds for PG&E and Edison to upgrade networks for charging buses, trucks and forklifts.

The investments would be the largest of their kind by U.S. utilities, said Salim Morsy, an analyst for Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

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