CPUC Approves Huge Boost in EV Charging Stations in Underserved Communities
At Least 1,125 of 7,500 New Charging Stations Will Be in Disadvantaged Communities
Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Director, 415-846-7758 (cell)
Joel Espino, Greenlining Institute Environmental Equity Legal Counsel, 623-330-1995 (cell)
SAN FRANCISCO – The California Public Utilities Commission today approved a pilot program that will bring 1,125 electric vehicle charging stations to underserved communities as part of a Pacific Gas and Electric pilot program to deploy a total of 7,500 charging stations in its service area. The company must deploy at least 15 percent of its charging stations in disadvantaged communities with a goal of deploying an additional five percent of charging stations in disadvantaged communities or other areas with a high concentration of low-income customers. Advocates for low-income communities hailed the decision as a major step toward making clean transportation options available to all Californians, regardless of income, race, or neighborhood.
“This represents a crucial addition to California’s groundbreaking efforts to make electric vehicles affordable and accessible to communities most impacted by poverty and pollution,” said Greenlining Institute Environmental Equity Legal Counsel Joel Espino, who took part in the negotiations that informed today’s decision. “Low and moderate income Californians want and need clean transportation, and we can only reach our clean air and climate goals if EVs become a practical alternative in all neighborhoods. Access to EV charging is essential to that effort, and to dispelling the myth that electric cars are just for the wealthy.”
PG&E’s pilot program will boost EV access efforts under the Charge Ahead California Initiative (SB 1275, De León). That measure, co-sponsored by The Greenlining Institute, put in motion programs aimed at helping low-income drivers get behind the wheel of an EV. PG & E’s service territory is home to two of those programs: a financing assistance pilot in the Bay Area and a scrap-and-replace program in the Central Valley.
For additional background on the connections between electric vehicles, California climate efforts, and low-income communities and communities of color, see Greenlining’s “Electric Vehicles for All” online toolkit, authored by Espino. For real-world examples of how the Charge Ahead California Initiative and other California climate policies benefit underserved Californians, visit UpliftCA.org.
THE GREENLINING INSTITUTE
A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute