Southern California Edison is planning on installing 1,500 electric car charging stations throughout Southern California.
The utility received regulatory approval Thursday from the California Public Utilities Commission for a $22 million pilot program aimed at installing charging stations at locations where cars are parked for extended periods of time, such as at workplaces, campuses, recreational areas and apartment and condominium complexes.
“A major barrier to electric vehicle ownership is that there aren’t enough charging stations where people normally park their cars,” said Caroline Choi, Edison’s vice president for energy and environmental policy, in a statement. “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.”
The utility will install and maintain the supporting electrical infrastructure, but participating property owners will own, operate and maintain the charging stations.
Placement of charging stations will depend on customer demand, said Gary Stern, director of energy policy for Edison.
The cost to use the charging stations would be up to property owners, said Stern. The property owner will buy the electricity; some might choose to provide complimentary electricity, while others might require payment, he said.
“Basically, chargers are going to be where the customers want,” he said. “With one exception, we are targeting about 10 percent to be installed in disadvantaged communities.”
The $22 million that Edison will use for the pilot program comes from the company’s general investment fund.
“These investments would be depreciated over time, just like any other electric grid investments are,” said Stern. “The cost is recovered gradually over the years through rates.”
If the pilot program proves successful, Edison will seek to increase the number of charging stations throughout the region further to about 30,000 for a total estimated cost of $355 million.