• 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. A summary of the CPUC's work to support ZEV adoption is available here. You can learn more about electric vehicle ownership and the benefits of electric vehicles at https://www.electricforall.org/.

    Upcoming Events: 

    August 28, 2019: The California Energy Commission (Energy Commission), the California Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) staff will conduct a joint public workshop to discuss the importance of streamlining the electric vehicle (EV) charger permitting process in California from 10AM-4PM at the Energy Commission in Sacramento, CA. More details are available at https://www.energy.ca.gov/event/workshop/2019-08/joint-agency-staff-workshop-streamlining-electric-vehicle-charger-permitting.


    Fast Facts:


    Rebates and Incentives

    Low-Carbon Fuel Standard Rebates

    The electric utilities provide rebates to their customers that drive plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs).

    The natural gas utilities provide rebates to their customers that use natural gas to fuel their vehicles.

    • PGE&E Clean Fuel Rebate
    • Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) and SDG&E rebates are under development.

    Funds for these rebates come from the utilities’ sales of credits received through California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS).  Find out more about LCFS here  

    Utility Shareholder-Funded Incentives

    SDG&E offers a $1,000 point-of-sale rebate to eligible teachers and first-responders in its service territory through its Champions For Clean Air program.

    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.

    Drive Clean

    Visit ARB's buying guide for clean and efficient vehicles to identify additional incentives.


    Plug-in Electric Vehicle Rates

    PG&E, SCE, SDG&E and Liberty 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 and Liberty offer rates for commercial customers’ electric vehicle charging.

    The CPUC hosted a ZEV Rate Design Forum on June 7-8, 2018 to review and evaluate electric rate designs that could support the state's ZEV goals. Documents and recordings are available here.

    Plug-in Electric Vehicle Submetering 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 Submetering 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 as described here.

    CPUC/NRG Settlement

    In 2012, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved an agreement between NRG Energy and the CPUC to settle outstanding legal issues regarding the 2000 California energy crisis. The settlement requires NRG to invest $102.5 million in electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the state at no cost to site hosts. NRG is obligated to install public fast-charging stations, make electrical upgrades to support electric vehicle charging at existing building facilities ("make-ready infrastructure"), fund technological research and development programs related to electric vehicle charging strategies, and support electric vehicle access programs for under-served communities.  

    NRG is required to submit quarterly reports on its progress in fulfilling provisions of the settlement agreement and provide a list of its public charging stations and make-ready installations.  EVgo, which was a subsidiary of NRG, is currently implementing the settlement requirements on behalf of NRG. The sixth year of the settlement's implementation began on December 6, 2017.

    The settlement calls for NRG to finance two third-party audits of its compliance with the settlement agreement. The first tracks NRG's progress midway through settlement implementation, and provides a third-party opinion on NRG's compliance with the settlement conditions and provisions as of the settlement's midpoint. The mid-term review audit is available here.

    More details on the settlement, including NRG's quarterly and annual reports, are available here

    Infrastructure Pilot Programs at Schools and State Parks and Beaches

    AB 1082 and AB 1083 (Burke, 2017) authorize the investor-owned utilities to propose pilot programs to install electric vehicle charging infrastructure at school facilities and/or state parks and beaches, respectively. The Assigned Commissioner, Carla Peterman, issued a guidance ruling to the IOUs in January 2018 regarding what should be included in their applications if they choose to propose pilots under AB 1082 and AB 1083.

    In July 2018, four utilities, PG&E, SCE, SDG&E and Liberty Utilities, filed applications under AB 1082 and 1083 requesting a combined $56.4 million for pilot programs at school facilities and state parks and beaches:

    CPUC staff hosted a public workshop on December 6, 2018 for PG&E, SCE, SDG&E, and Liberty Utilities to provide an overview of their AB 1082 & AB 1083 applications.
    CPUC Energy Division Discussion Document

    PG&E: (A.18-07-020Application and Testimony

    PG&E expects to spend $5.76 million over 5 years to install 88-132 L2 EV charging ports across 22 school campuses in Alameda, Fresno, and San Joaquin counties for use by school employees, school fleets, and visitors. At least thirty-five percent of the participating schools will be located in disadvantaged communities, and no more than ten percent of the program participants will be higher education facilities The utility will also partner with the selected schools to organize a marketing, education, and outreach (ME&O) campaign that seeks to increase EV adoption, improve charging awareness and educate current and future drivers of the benefits to EV ownership.

    PG&E also proposes to spend $5.54 million over 5 years to install at least 40 level 2 (L2) ports and 3 direct current fast chargers (DCFC) EV chargers across 15 state parks and beaches for use by visitors, employees, and parks fleets. The utility will also partner with the selected parks to organize a marketing, education, and outreach (ME&O) campaign that seeks to improve EV ownership and charging awareness and educate potential EV owners of the ability of EVs to reach isolated parks with the hope of reducing “range-anxiety.”

    SCE: (A.18-07-022Application and Testimony

    SCE expects to spend $9.89 million over 2 years to install and support up to 250 charging ports at 40 K-12 schools in its service territory. The schools pilot also proposes to perform a comprehensive marketing, education, and outreach (ME&O) campaign through on-campus events and presentations to explain the benefits of EV ownership the next generation of drivers.

    SCE also proposes to spend $9.88 million over 2 years to install make-ready infrastructure at 27 state parks and beaches to support up to 120 level 2 (L2) charging ports and 10 direct current fast chargers (DCFC). SCE is also proposing to support15 mobile EV charging ports. The parks pilot also proposes to perform a comprehensive marketing, education, and outreach (ME&O) campaign through multi-media outlets and in park presentations to explain the benefits of EV ownership to drivers who enjoy outdoor activities, state park users, advocates, and employees.

    SDG&E: (A.18-07-023Application and Testimony

    SDG&E is proposing to spend $9.9 million over 2 years to install 184 level 2 (L2) and 12 direct current fast chargers (DCFC) across 30 school facilities and educational institutions, 25% of which will be in Disadvantaged Communities (DAC). The utility also proposes to partner with the participating schools to conduct a marketing, education, and outreach (ME&O) campaign through multiple media outlets and on campus presentations.

    SDG&E also proposes to spend $9.8 million over 2 years to install 120 level 2 (L2) chargers and 20 direct current fast chargers (DCFC) across 12 State Parks and Beaches and 10 City and County Parks and Beaches. If given approval by the Commission, SDG&E plans to site 100% of the selected City and County Parks and Beaches in Disadvantaged Communities (DAC). The utility will also partner with the participating parks to conduct a marketing, education, and outreach campaign through multiple media outlets and on-site presentations.

    Liberty Utilities: (A.18-07-025Application and Testimony

    Liberty is proposing to spend $3.861 million over 2 years to install 13 level 2 (L2) chargers, with 2 charge ports each, and 2 direct current fast chargers (DCFC) across 17 K-12 schools, Lake Tahoe Community College, and a Lake Tahoe Unified School District operated bus barn. The proposed schools pilot will also include a marketing, education, and outreach (ME&O) campaign to provide clarifying information to address frequent questions and concerns about EV ownership.

    Liberty also proposes to spend $0.741 million over 2 years to install 5 level 2 (L2) chargers, with 2 ports each across 3 State Parks and Beach locations: Lake Tahoe Golf Course, Sugar Pine State Park, and Kings Beach State Park. The proposed parks pilot will also include a marketing, education, and outreach (ME&O) campaign to provide clarifying information to address frequent questions and concerns about EV ownership.

    PG&E Empower EV Charge Network (A.18-07-021)

    PG&E is requesting $4.1 million to provide incentives for up to 2,000 level 2 EV charging stations for low-to-moderate income residents. PG&E is also proposing to provide up to 800 low-income residents with no-cost home electrical upgrades if needed to support EV charging. In addition, PG&E proposes to work with community-based organizations to provide outreach and education about the program, and plans to contract with a "implementer" to verify customers' program eligibility, provide no-cost chargers, and coordinate installation services. The proposed program timeline is 6 months for start up, one year for outreach and implementation, and three months for evaluation.

    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. Additional information and documentation can be found on the VGI working group website.

    Pilot Programs

    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.

    Department of Defense Vehicle-to-Grid Pilot

    SCE partnered with Los Angeles Air Force Base from late 2015 to September 2017 to conduct a vehicle to grid (V2G) pilot program that allowed its electric vehicle fleet to send power back to the electric grid. The vehicle batteries acted as storage, charging when power was cheapest – typically midday when renewable energy generation peaks – and discharge energy back to the grid when there were supply constraints. The fleet of 34 electric and hybrid vehicles served as a storage resource participating in the California power market. Throughout the pilot, which was funded by the California Energy Commission and the U.S. Department of Defense, SCE provided L.A. Air Force Base a specific vehicle-to-grid (V2G) rate.

    The final pilot report can be found here.

    Low Carbon Transportation Choices Research

    The Air Resources Board's low carbon transportation choices research program seeks to improve understanding of what drives vehicle choices, identify real-world emissions benefits of new and used electric vehicles and help increase adoption of zero and low-emissions vehicles across all income levels. Results of ARB's research through this program helps inform many of its clean vehicle incentive programs.

    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 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.

    • PG&E offered the San Joaquin Regional Transit District its small general service TOU energy rate to meet the transit district’s new electric bus charging load from September 2013 to 2016, as approved in Resolution E-4628.
    • SCE offered a small general service TOU rate from December 2012 to December 2015 to governments that included electric vehicles in their fleets , as approved in Resolution E-4514.

    In 2013, CPUC continued to develop rules with a specific focus on ZEVs. 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 ZEVs 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.


    Research Database

    In 2018, CPUC collected pilot project information through a new survey on zero-emission vehicle infrastructure and vehicle-grid integration research. The survey results are publicly available and can be downloaded as an Excel file.

    CPUC seeks to maintain up-to-date, consolidated information on pilot programs to help researchers, regulators, and other utility and transportation stakeholders stay informed about this quickly changing field. The database includes for each project: contact information, location, participants, objectives, rates, funding, timeline, vehicles, equipment, standards, and software.

    In 2016, the CPUC organized information about a variety of past and ongoing pilot projects and compiled the results into an easily-searchable presentation. This resource includes links to dozens of reports with findings from research on transportation electrification, and was last updated in August 2018.  

     Disadvantaged Communities
    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.

    CPUC Contacts

    For a list of CPUC Staff Contacts by subject matter, click here.

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

    There are two ways to receive information related to a Commission proceeding:

    1. Join a proceeding service list to receive e-mails with all documents sent by the Commission, by parties participating in the proceeding, as well as notices of workshops or other events.  To add yourself to a service list, email Process Office@cpuc.ca.gov and include the proceeding number, your name, title, organization, address, phone number, and e-mail.  The Process Office will email you to confirm your addition to the service list, which could take a few weeks.
    2. Sign up for the Commission's Subscription Service to follow a particular proceeding, industry, or type of document.  Note that you will only receive documents from the subscription service once they have been accepted for filing, so there will be a delay in receiving notification of filed document.  Additionally, some types of documents, such as testimony and other communications, are not provided via subscription service and are sent only to the service list.
  • 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

  • Open Proceeding Information

    DRIVE OIR:  R.18-12-006  

    Scoping Ruling

    Energy Division stocktake on related CPUC Proceedings

    SB 350 Applications: 
     AB 1082/ AB 1083 Applications:
     SCE Charge Ready Phase 2
    Low-Carbon Fuel Standard Program:
    Submetering Pilot Projects:
     EPIC Investment Plans (2018-2021)

    Join a Service List

    Contact the Public Advisor’s Office

  • Key Documents

    Executive Order B-48-18 issued on January 26, 2018, increases the state's ZEV goal to 5 million cars by 2030. It also establishes a goal of 250,000 ZEV charging stations, including 10,000 direct-current fast chargers, and 200 hydrogen fueling facilities in the state by 2025.

    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 in March 2012. The ZEV Action Plan will be updated in 2018 to address the increased vehicle goal and new infrastructure targets.

  • Utility Programs

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

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