• Zero-Emission Vehicles

    The CPUC develops policies to support the deployment of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs). ZEVs include pure battery plug-in electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles. These transportation technologies are essential to achieve California’s renewable energy, air quality, and climate change goals. To achieve these goals, the CPUC works with utilities to provide rebates, rates, charging infrastructure, and vehicle-grid integration technologies to ZEV drivers as detailed below.

    Rebates & Incentives : Rates : Infrastructure : VGI : Regulatory History : Resources : Contact

    Fast Facts:


    Rebates and Incentives

    Low-Carbon Fuel Standard Rebates

    The electric utilities will provide rebates to plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) drivers.

    The natural gas utilities – PG&E, Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), and SDG&E – will also provide a rebate to customers that use natural gas to fuel their vehicles. These rebates are under development.

    The rebates are part of a statewide greenhouse gas reduction program administered by the California Air Resources Board. The funds come from the utilities’ sales of credits received through California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) Program. In 2014, the CPUC issued a Decision directing the utilities how to allocate LCFS credit revenues back to their participating customers.   

    State Vehicle Rebates

    Customers that purchase or lease an electric vehicle may be eligible for rebates through the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project. This program has issued nearly $350 million in rebates since the program started in 2009.


    Plug-in Electric Vehicle Customer Rate Options

    PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E each offer electric vehicle “time-of-use” energy rates for residential customers. Time-of-use rates encourage customers to charge during “off-peak” hours. This helps minimize the impact of the energy demand from electric vehicles on the electric grid. Customers may elect to measure both their home and electric vehicle energy use on one meter or measure them separately.

    SCE currently offers rates specifically for commercial customers’ electric vehicle load.

    Plug-in Electric Vehicle Sub-metering Pilot

    Residential and commercial plug-in electric vehicle customers of PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E, including Net Energy Metering customers, are also eligible to participate in the Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sub-metering pilot, which uses energy meters specifically for PEV charging to help drivers save on fuel costs and avoid paying to install a new utility meter just for their PEV. Phase 1 of the pilot has been completed and Phase 2 begins runs from January 2017 through April 2018.

    Charging Infrastructure

    Infrastructure Pilot Programs

    PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E are currently implementing pilot programs to install infrastructure to support electric vehicle charging at multi-unit dwellings, workplaces, and public interest destinations. Each utility convenes a program advisory council comprised of representatives from state agencies, ratepayer advocates, environmental justice groups, technology providers, automakers, and others to provide feedback and guidance on pilot design and implementation. The three utility pilots will install the infrastructure to support up to 12,500 charging stations with total budgets up to $197 million. This table summarizes key pilot information.

    Proposed IOU Infrastructure programs

    The CPUC is currently considering several charging infrastructure programs proposed by the state’s investor-owned utilities as required under Senate Bill 350. More details on the Energy Division’s work to support transportation electrification as required under Senate Bill 350 are available here.

    CPUC/NRG Settlement

    EVgo provides funding for “make-ready” installations within the PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E service territories. A “make-ready” is a parking space wired with the electrical infrastructure to support electric vehicle chargers.

    Available funding covers infrastructure costs, generally up to $3,000 per space, with a target of 10 installations per site. Funds are available on a first come, first serve basis for qualifying multi-family, workplace, and public interest sites. Interested parties should contact EVgo directly at InfrastructureFunding@evgo.com.

    This funding is the result of a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission-approved agreement NRG entered with the CPUC in 2012 to settle outstanding legal issues regarding the California energy crisis. The settlement requires NRG to invest more than $100 million in electric vehicle charging infrastructure in California. NRG is required to make quarterly reports on its progress in fulfilling provisions of the settlement agreement and make a list of its charging stations and other EV infrastructure installations publicly available.

    Vehicle-Grid Integration

    The CPUC, in collaboration with other state agencies, is developing policies that support vehicle-grid integration (VGI). VGI helps align electric vehicle charging with the needs of the electric grid.  To do this, electric vehicles must have capabilities to manage charging or support two-way interaction between vehicles and the grid.

    The CPUC supported development of the 2014 California Vehicle-Grid Integration Roadmap, which maps a way for state agencies to develop solutions that enable electric vehicles to provide grid services while meeting consumer driving needs.

    The CPUC Energy Division Staff’s 2014 white paper on Vehicle-Grid Integration has served as the launching point for developing policies that best support VGI. CPUC also provided a presentation to the California Energy Commission in November 2014 about vehicle-to-grid integration use cases and regulatory issues.

    On December 4, 2013, the CPUC Energy Division held a workshop on Vehicle-to-Grid Integration and Financing. The presentations from that workshop can be accessed below:

    EPIC Program

    The Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) supports the development of non-commercialized new and emerging clean energy technologies in California and provides assistance to commercially viable projects. The California Energy Commission administers 80 percent of the funds collected, and the three IOUs administer the remaining 20 percent. Several EPIC projects are related to vehicle-grid integration.

    Demand Response Pilots

    PG&E and SCE implemented “demand response” pilots for electric vehicles developed in accordance with D.12-04-045. Demand response (or DR) is when customers change their electricity usage (typically reducing use or shifting use to other times in the day) at certain times in response to economic incentives, price signals, or other conditions.

    PG&E partnered with BMW for its program to use PEVs as DR resources, and provided incentives of up to $1,540 for 100 electric vehicle drivers.

    SCE developed a Workplace PEV Charging Pilot Plan focused on testing different DR technologies at its own locations, and a Smart PEV Charging Pilot Plan to further test DR technologies for commercial and residential customers.

    Department of Defense Vehicle-to-Grid Pilot

    SCE is partnering with Los Angeles Air Force Base to conduct a pilot program that allows its electric vehicle fleet to send power back to the electric grid. The vehicle batteries can act as storage, charging when power is cheapest – typically midday when renewable energy generation peaks – and discharge energy back to the grid when there are supply constraints. The fleet of 34 electric and hybrid vehicles serves as a storage resource participating in the California power market. Throughout the pilot, which is funded by the California Energy Commission and the U.S. Department of Defense, SCE is providing L.A. Air Force Base a specific vehicle-to-grid (V2G) rate. The project went live in late 2015 and is expected to run through September 2017.

    Regulatory History

    The CPUC works jointly with other state agencies to meet California’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and criteria air pollutants from the transportation sector.

    The CPUC began implementing policies aimed at reducing emissions from transportation energy in 1990 but its work escalated in 2006 after the passage of Assembly Bill (AB) 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

    In 2008, the California Air Resources Board created an initial Climate Change Scoping Plan, which found that efficient, zero-emission vehicles using low carbon fuels are “vital components” of the state’s efforts to achieve its GHG emission reduction goals. In 2009, pursuant to the Scoping Plan and Senate Bill 626, the CPUC began an Alternative Fuel Vehicles rulemaking (R.09-08-009) to support the widespread deployment and use of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles.

    Prior to the existing time-of-use rates, SDG&E conducted a PEV TOU Pricing and Technology Study. Customers were eligible for Experimental PEV Rates (Rev.1) (Rev.2), approved in Resolution E-4334. SDG&E published a final evaluation of the pilot, which ended in 2013

    PG&E and SCE conducted pilot projects offering time-of-use pricing to public transit systems, in an effort to develop rates that meet the charging and utilization demands of bus and other public transit fleets. These pilots were limited to three years and available only to government-owned or operated fleets, as the CPUC works to develop policies that address electric vehicle fleet charging needs and behaviors statewide.

    In 2013, CPUC continued to develop rules with a specific focus on electric vehicles (EVs). It decided (D.13-06-14) that the utilities should continue conducting research about the grid impacts of the load associated with electric vehicle charging and costs associated with any new transmission infrastructure needed to service increased electric vehicle load. The joint IOU load research reports can be found here:

    In December 2014, the CPUC decided that investor-owned utilities could own transportation electrification infrastructure but programs must be considered on a case-by-case basis. This facilitated the development of PG&E, SCE and SDG&E's infrastructure pilot programs.

    In recent years, CPUC has hosted several workshops to help inform its policy making including these listed below:

    • The Basics of Cost Effectiveness Analysis:Presentations (3/6/15)
    • PEV Infrastructure Site Selection (6/10/15) and Metrics & Data (6/16/15)  Presentations


    The current, ongoing proceeding, R.13-11-007, seeks to develop policies that ensure that PEVs efficiently integrate with the utility grid and have access to fair rates that encourage electrification. CPUC is also working with other state agencies to implement policies and programs that encourage the deployment of charging equipment and infrastructure. A key part of the agencies' work is focused on implementing requirements set forth by California Senate Bill (SB) 350 to support widespread transportation electrification. More information about the investor-owned utilities' most recent proposals to accelerate the deployment of transportation electrification is available on the SB 350 transportation electrification website.



    California Air Resources Board
    California Energy Commission
    California Sustainable Freight Action Plan
    – An interagency action plan aimed at improving freight efficiency, transitioning to cleaner fuels, and increasing the competitiveness of California’s freight system.
    Center for Sustainability
    –Has collected and aggregated data about California electric vehicle adoption and rebates, available at its EV Consumer Survey Dashboard.

    CPUC Contacts

    Amy Mesrobian at amy.mesrobian@cpuc.ca.gov or Carrie Sisto at carolyn.sisto@cpuc.ca.gov.

    Media please contact the CPUC’s News Office at (415)703-1366 or news@cpuc.ca.gov.

  • Senate Bill (SB) 350

    Learn more about the CPUC’s work to promote transportation electrification as required under SB 350, the Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015

  • Proceeding Information 

    SB 350 Applications:


     Alternative-Fueled Vehicles Rulemaking:

    Low-Carbon Fuel Standard Program:

    Submetering Pilot Projects:

    EPIC Investment Plans (2015-2017)

    Join a Service List

    Contact the Public Advisor’s Office

  • Key Documents

    The September 2016 SB 350 Assigned Commissioner’s Ruling provides guidance on the investor-owned utilities’ (IOUs) participation in transportation electrification and directs the IOUs to submit Applications proposing programs that support the state’s goals.

    The ZEV Action Plan outlines progress to date and future actions planned across state agencies to reach the goal of 1.5 million ZEVs in California by 2025 set under Executive Order B-16-12. 

  • Utility Programs

    For more information about the utilities’ programs, rates and incentives for ZEVs, please visit their websites: