California Utility Electrifies 20% Of Its Fleet

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The Southern California utility company SDG&E has a goal of electrifying 100% of its fleet of vehicles (passenger cars, pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles) by 2030. It has provided an update that it has now reached 20% and is on track for that 2030 target.

SDG&E also has a goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2045, in line with California’s own goal. As 40% of the state’s CO2 emissions, the most of any sector, transportation needs to be electrified, and the sooner the better. Also noteworthy: “transportation-related emissions heavily impact low-income communities located near busy roadways and industrial facilities.” Indeed. Just mentioning that is abnormal and indicates SDG&E cares, but what’s even much cooler is seeing how the utility is working to resolve that inequity:

“In response, SDG&E has developed a new analytical tool called the Community Impact Platform to prioritize vehicle replacements in neighborhoods hit hardest by air pollution and climate change. The innovative technology overlays more than 80 million data points from its fleet’s daily trips with socioeconomic metrics to create a heat map of emissions in the region. Using advanced analytics, the platform can present various scenarios for replacing vehicles to reduce emissions and improve air quality.”

What new-ish EV was SDG&E particularly keen to buy, adding 8 of them to the fleet in recent weeks?

Courtesy of San Diego Gas & Electric

You know it — the Ford F-150 Lightning. The utility also added … a fuel cell electric car. (This seems illogical in various ways, but I’ll just ignore it for now.)

Electrifying transport is one way to clean up emissions, but it’s not the only way. SDG&E comments that another big issue is vehicle idling. The company is tracking this and trying to minimize it. (Of course, once the fleet is electric, it doesn’t matter, since there are no idling issues with EVs.)

SDG&E has installed more than 3,400 charging ports across its district. There are more to come, too.

Utility companies get a lot of flack — they aren’t necessarily the most altruistic, flexible, or innovative — but as we can see here, good ones can make great allies in the EV transition.


 

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