Install a network of DC fast chargers to enable long-distance EV travel in California this year
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Increased adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) are important for meeting California's goals of reducing carbon emissions. Some of the largest barriers to adoption are range anxiety and the inability to drive EVs long distances in our state without long stops for charging.
Deploying a network of DC fast charging (DCFC) stations along long-distance transportation corridors will enable long-distance EV travel in California, a new mode of EV travel. Establishing this network will benefit current EV users as well as draw many more people to EVs since this would reduce range anxiety as well as demonstrate that long-distance travel is practical. This network is also needed to make EVs practical for residents of the Central Valley and rural areas who require frequent long-distance travel.
DCFC investments by the CEC would also be leveraged by the existing and well-used West Coast Electric Highway that has been established by our progressive neighbor states Oregon and Washington. Extending the West Coast Electric highway to California would enable EV travel from San Diego (and Baja California) to British Columbia, making EV adoption even more attractive in our state.
It is important for this long-distance DCFC network to be deployed ASAP, with significant capability in place by the end of the 2015 calendar year. There are currently over 120,000 EVs in California, so there would be a large user base for this network right away. GM, Nissan, and other auto vendors have committed to start producing more models of extended (150-200+ mi) range vehicles by the end of 2016, so the long-distance DCFC user base would grow rapidly.
The CEC currently invests on the order of $20M per year on EV infrastructure, but it has funded only 9 DCFC stations to date at an average cost of only $15,000 each (per the Jan. 2015 report, CEC‐600‐2014‐009‐SD‐REV). An initial network of several dozen DCFC stations could be deployed for about 10% of the CEC's annual EV infrastructure expenditures.
We urge the CEC to implement a network of DCFCs along transportation corridors to enable long-distance EV travel in our state. This project is well-suited for the CEC to lead because it is a statewide effort that goes beyond the interests of any single region. Please show some vision and leadership by implementing a long-distance EV DCFC network in California this year.
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