The California Energy Commission (CEC) today approved a $95 million plan for critical clean transportation investments to expedite the adoption of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) and help the state reach its climate, air quality, and other goals. The plan also focuses on closing an anticipated gap in charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, and increasing program benefits to disadvantaged communities.
“The drive to zero-emissions is more important than ever as California continues to be challenged by climate change and air pollution,” said CEC Chair David Hochschild. “Today’s action demonstrates CEC’s ongoing commitment to deploying the infrastructure needed to meet the demands of the state’s ever-increasing fleet of clean cars, trucks, and buses.”
The 2019-2020 Investment Plan Update for the CEC’s Clean Transportation Program (formerly known as the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program) allocates $85.2 million for ZEVs, as well as zero-emission infrastructure and related workforce development.
The plan calls for:
$32.7 million for light-duty EV charging infrastructure
$30 million for medium- and heavy-duty ZEVs and infrastructure
$20 million for hydrogen refueling infrastructure
$2.5 million for workforce development
The investment plan also allocates $10 million for production of zero- and near-zero-carbon fuels.
“This plan makes strategic investments in zero-emission fuels and technologies, including charging infrastructure, that will help the state reach its climate and clean air goals,” said CEC Commissioner Patty Monahan. “We are tackling the chicken and egg problem of charging infrastructure and ZEVs, so electric vehicle drivers will feel more confident they can conveniently re-charge their vehicles.” Despite considerable ongoing investments in public charging by the CEC, the state’s lead agency for fueling infrastructure deployment, as well as the state’s electric utilities, Electrify America, and others, the agency estimates that California will fall approximately 81,600 charging ports short of the 250,000 needed to support the states goal of 1.5 million ZEVs on the road by 2025.
Among the innovative solutions that the CEC is promoting to close the gap are:
Technologies that provide more effective charging.
Zero-emission car- and ride-sharing that make better use of charging infrastructure and provides disadvantaged and rural communities with access to clean transportation.
Streamlined incentives for charging infrastructure that leverage more private capital.
Increases to workforce development investments, particularly in disadvantaged communities, as well as increases to ZEV investment also reflect recommendations by the Disadvantaged Communities Advisory Group. The advisory group advises the CEC and the California Public Utilities Commission about programs that will help achieve clean energy and pollution reduction while being effective and useful in disadvantaged communities.
The Clean Transportation Program was created in 2007 by Assembly Bill 118 (Núñez) to support the state’s climate change policies by developing and deploying alternative and renewable fuels and advanced transportation technologies. The program has invested nearly $830 million to more than 600 projects covering a broad spectrum of alternative fuels and technologies.
AB 118 also created the Air Quality Improvement Program, which the California Air Resources Board administers. The program funds air quality improvement projects relating to fuel and vehicle technologies. The bill also established an enhanced fleet modernization program for the retirement of high polluting vehicles, run by the Bureau of Automotive Repair.
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