$2.9 Billion Investment in EV Infrastructure
The California Energy Commission (CEC) recently approved an unprecedented $2.9-billion investment plan to significantly accelerate the state’s electric vehicle charging and hydrogen refueling networks, making zero-emission driving an option for a far greater number of state residents, as well as supporting the implementation of thousands of zero-emission trucks, school buses, and transit buses across the state.
California’s 2022-203 investment plan update increases funding for the state’s Clean Transportation Program by a massive 30 times compared to 2019. Half of the new money is targeted at “priority populations” – communities that suffer from persistent air pollution.
90,000 New EV Chargers
What does this mean for drivers in California? For one thing, the number of publicly-accessible EV chargers in the state will more than double. The plan estimates 90,000 new EV chargers will be installed; there are 80,000 installed across California today. It’s a major step in California’s plans to ensure the state reaches its goal of 250,000 public chargers by 2025.
The state promises to deploy charging and hydrogen refueling structure swiftly and equitably so that drivers of zero-emission cars and trucks have access to charging and refueling wherever they need to go. Indeed, of the $2.9 billion, $1.7 billion will be spent on infrastructure to support medium- and heavy-duty zero-emission vehicles. $900 million is targeted at charging for the light-duty vehicles you and I will typically drive on a daily basis.
One highlight of the plan is an expansion of the state’s hydrogen charging infrastructure, which is currently concentrated in a couple of cities. California views hydrogen as an important tool in emissions reduction, as large trucks, buses, and other commercial vehicles can’t practically run on electricity if they drive long distances.
The plan will increase access to charging and hydrogen fueling for individuals, businesses and public agencies, the state’s Energy Commission says, while supporting California’s emerging manufacturing ecosystem and creating jobs. Most importantly, it provides critical funding to support the move away from dirty trucks and buses. $90 million will be spent specifically on new hydrogen fueling infrastructure in California.
New Zero-Emissions Rebates
Expanding the charging and hydrogen infrastructure goes hand-in-hand with another recent announcement by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). It recently approved a plan to spend a further $2.6 billion on clean transportation incentives – including rebates for zero-emission consumer vehicles as well as heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.
Other interesting details of the plan include almost $120 million to support the manufacture of zero-emission vehicles in California; almost $100 million for emerging low-carbon opportunities in aviation, trains, and marine vessels; $15 million on low-carbon fuels; $15 million for near-zero carbon fuel production; and $10 million for workforce development.
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