PG&E Launches New Tools To Support Electric Vehicle Adoption In Northern And Central California

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today released a new report and interactive map to support and ease the installation of critical electric vehicle (EV) fast chargers in Northern and Central California to help increase EV adoption and extend EV benefits across communities.

Today, transportation is the single largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in California. State goals aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support one million EVs on the road by 2020. Access to public charging is critical to meeting these goals and increasing EV adoption by building driver confidence in their ability to charge away from home. However, direct current (DC) fast charging infrastructure, with chargers that can refuel an EV in 20-30 minutes, has been slow to develop due to the high costs and complexity of installations.

Collaborating with researchers at the Plug-In Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Research Center at the University of California, Davis and other EV infrastructure experts, PG&E developed best practices for siting DC fast chargers and applied those findings to recommend potential locations for DC fast chargers within PG&E's service area of Northern and Central California. Available on an interactive map, these locations are based on traffic patterns, unmet charging demand and PG&E's electric system.

"When we survey our customers, we hear that range anxiety is still a barrier to EV adoption. By offering new tools to help installers, governments and communities get more chargers in the right places on the roads - especially fast chargers - we hope to spur EV adoption with our customers and help the state meet its ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals," said PG&E Vice President of Customer Energy Solutions Aaron Johnson.

Expanding public charging in California

Today, there are about 5,000 public chargers in Northern and Central California, including only about 280 DC fast chargers - which drivers often prefer due to quick charging times. A DC fast charger can almost fully charge an EV in 20-30 minutes, compared to standard EV charging, which can take several hours. However, finding suitable locations to install DC fast chargers can be complex and expensive. PG&E's report identified the 300 areas in Northern and Central California with the highest expected need for DC fast charger installations by 2025 based on EV adoption forecasts.

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