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February 08, 2022

What’s next in clean transportation?

Submitted by fp-admin on

Transportation is a key enabler of economic activity. However, it’s also the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in California, in addition to being a major source of air pollution. At Sempra, we’re making great strides to help electrify vehicles and transition the world to cleaner transportation.

Over the past decade, SDG&E has developed a robust portfolio of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure programs to support the electrification of a range of vehicles (light, medium and heavy-duty). To further reduce carbon emissions and limit the effects of climate change, the public and private sectors must continue to prioritize clean transportation.

The recent passing of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill includes key initiatives aimed at advancing the expansion of EV infrastructure nationwide. This includes the reduction of carbon emissions through electrifying public transportation and heavy-duty trucks, which would help mitigate congestion and improve air quality.

Our California utilities invest in clean transportation

The U.S. has over 164,000 miles of highway connecting communities, all of which need EV charging infrastructure to support clean transportation. Meanwhile, according to Bloomberg NEF, EV sales have increased 80% over the past year, showing that consumers are ready and the electric grid needs to expand.

In order to achieve local, regional and federal climate goals, collaboration will be key. Consequently SDG&E and other California utilities announced a Memorandum of Understanding to support a California Regional Charging Network. This agreement encourages cooperation and leadership in support of electric cars and trucks traveling along key corridors in California and beyond to reduce pollution, protect public health, advance equity, and support access to electric cars and trucks for all Californians.

SDG&E has invested resources to support a full spectrum of vehicles and equipment including trucks, school buses, transit buses and forklifts. To date, the utility has built more than 3,200 chargers. In the coming years, SDG&E aims to build many more to help meet California’s ambitious clean transportation goals.

By the numbers: SDG&E's commitment to clean transportation

To date, SDG&E has built 3,260 electric vehicle chargers throughout San Diego

In development:

  • ~2,000 EV chargers for workplaces and multi-unit dwellings

  • 304 chargers at schools, parks and beaches

  • 300 chargers to support 3,000 medium/heavy-duty vehicles

Meanwhile SoCalGas announced that it took delivery of 23 Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (HFCEV), marking the company's first purchase of hydrogen-powered vehicles. The company plans to expand its fleet of HFCEVs to 50, making SoCalGas among the first utilities in the nation to start transitioning to hydrogen. These new HFCEVs are the latest example of SoCalGas’ working toward its Net Zero 2045 climate goal, which includes replacing 50% of its over-the-road fleet with clean fuel vehicles by 2025 and operating a 100% zero-emission fleet by 2035.

Innovation driving the transition to cleaner roads

Our companies have been working aggressively to expand clean transportation infrastructure through innovation. SDG&E is piloting vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology at a school district to connect electric school buses to 60kW bi-directional DC fast chargers. The batteries onboard the buses will soak up energy during downtime and when clean energy is abundant on the grid (such as midday when solar energy production is at its peak) and discharge energy to the grid during peak demand hours in the afternoon and evening. The goal is to help ease strain on the grid, help schools save on energy costs and explore a new technology that could be crucial for the pathway to net-zero emissions.

Oncor is also helping drive the change to electric vehicles. Last year, Oncor began development of a green fleet planning tool capable of forecasting EV impact on localized transmission and distribution infrastructure five to seven years out and beyond. Also, Oncor collaborated with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Southern Company on a 2020 study to examine the opportunity for near-term electrification of heavy-duty trucks, or semi-trucks with a gross vehicle weight greater than 26,000 pounds — a segment of vehicles responsible for around 15% of total U.S. transportation emissions.

Sempra has been on a sustained path to decarbonize our business operations and the markets we serve for two decades and, while we are in it for the long-haul, the pace we set today matters. Learn more about how we are committed to be a leader in the energy transition to a net-zero future.