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PG&E Launches Biggest Installation of Electric Car Chargers in U.S.

The 250,000 plug-in vehicles sold in California represent 46% of the total 520,000 estimated to have been sold in the U.S. between 2008 and September 2016.

The recent EV charger installation undertaken by Pacific Gas & Electric will help ensure California’s continued domination of the EV landscape in the U.S.

The 250,000 plug-in vehicles sold in California represent 46% of the total 520,000 estimated to have been sold in the U.S. between 2008 and September 2016.

Copyright Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Under the newly approved Electric Vehicle Infrastructure and Education Program (U39E), PG&E will spend $130 million to install 7,500 charging ports for plug-in vehicles across its territory under a program California regulators approved Thursday.  Some of the charging stations will be located at workplaces, others in multiunit apartment buildings.  And at least 15 percent will be installed in economically disadvantaged communities, part of a concerted push by California officials to make electric cars more accessible and affordable to lower-income families.

PG&E will be allowed to own up to 35 percent of the charging stations, while the rest will be owned by building owners or third parties.   The owner of each charging station location — whether it’s a residential building or an office — will have the choice of paying for the electricity as a perk for workers or tenants or making drivers who use the stations pay as they go.

PG&E also will own the wiring and other infrastructure that supports each charging station installed under the program, regardless of who owns the station itself.

The savings that people can harness from using this type of vehicle, as opposed to a gasoline-powered vehicle, it’s a very real per-month savings. Having the infrastructure available so people can make those choices is critical.

— Commissioner Catherine Sandoval, California Public Utilities Commission

The utility will spread the program’s cost across all of its more than 5 million customers, most of whom do not own plug-in cars. The program is expected to add less than 22 cents to a typical PG&E customer’s monthly bill.

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