PG&E Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report 2021

COVID-19 Response

Clean Transportation

PG&E is committed to providing clean transportation programs and incentives that are affordable and easy to access—and that help California meet its clean air and greenhouse gas emission reduction goals.

Our Approach

Today, about one fifth of all electric vehicles in the U.S. can be found in PG&E’s service area. But there is still more to do—California’s goals are to achieve 100% sales of light-duty zero emission vehicles (ZEV) by 2035, 100% medium- and heavy- duty ZEVs in operation by 2045, and 100% off-road ZEVs and equipment in operation by 2035 as laid out in Executive Order N-79-20.

The state is also aiming for 250,000 charging stations by 2025, including 10,000 fast chargers and 200 hydrogen fueling stations. The California Energy Commission found that up to 1.2 million charging stations will be needed by 2030.

To help meet these goals, we are actively engaged in projects to expand electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, both through our roles providing electric service and programs for customers. This includes collaborating with automakers, charging equipment providers and state programs to build and support the large-scale electric infrastructure needed to incorporate EV charging systems into the energy grid. PG&E also supports EV adoption through rates, rebates, tools and outreach to increase education about the benefits of EVs.

Programs and Pilots

  • EV Charge Network installs Level 2 charging ports throughout PG&E’s service area at multi-unit dwellings and workplaces. PG&E pays for the infrastructure to supply electricity to each EV parking space, and for a portion of the charging equipment. PG&E will implement the $130 million program through 2021.
  • EV Fleet, a $236 million program, expands PG&E’s charging infrastructure programs to medium- and heavy-duty fleets. Our goal is to install or rebate make-ready infrastructure at 700 sites by 2024 to support the adoption of 6,500 medium- and heavy-duty EVs. PG&E will ensure that at least 25% of the infrastructure portion of the budget is invested in disadvantaged communities.
  • EV Fast Charge enables public fast charging—with PG&E paying for and building the infrastructure from the electric grid to the charging equipment for public fast chargers, complementing state and privately-funded initiatives. The $22 million program runs through 2025 and aims to install approximately 50 plazas for DC fast charging in corridor and urban sites. At least 25% of sites will be located in or adjacent (within 5 miles) to disadvantaged communities and will receive additional incentives.
  • EV Schools and Parks will invest approximately $12 million over two years in charging infrastructure at an estimated 22 schools and 15 state parks. At least 25% of the state park project sites and 40% of the school project sites will be focused on equity.
  • Empower EV will support targeted community outreach to provide EV education and rebates for EV chargers and installation for income-qualified residential customers. The program will total $4 million over two years and aims to serve 2,000 households.

We also participate in California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) program, which aims to lower the carbon impact of California’s transportation fuels by 20% by 2030. Through 2020, PG&E’s Clean Fuel Rebate Program provided an $800 rebate for EV owners, and continues to provide on-bill credits for drivers of compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles. PG&E issued over 150,000 rebates from 2017-2020, resulting in over $100 million being returned to customers over the life of the program.

With the launch of the California Clean Fuel Reward program in November 2020, which provides a point-of-purchase incentive for new EVs, PG&E sunset the Clean Fuel Rebate Program for EVs at the end of 2020.

2020 Milestones

While 2020 was an unprecedented year, PG&E continued to implement customer programs and advocate for EV policies that support the transition to clean fuels, with a number of highlights:

Enabling Access to Charging Infrastructure

  • Continued construction of new charging stations under the EV Charge Network program. Through December 2020, PG&E installed 4,180 ports (over 90% of the targeted 4,500 ports) at workplaces and multi-family dwellings, with 36% of the units located in disadvantaged communities.
  • Continued implementation of the EV Fleet and EV Fast Charge programs. These programs expand PG&E’s charging infrastructure programs to medium- and heavy-duty fleets and public fast charging. In 2020, PG&E completed construction of 14 sites in the EV Fleet program and completed construction on the first site in the EV Fast Charge program.

Reducing Total Cost of Ownership

  • Launched California Clean Fuel Reward with the California Air Resources Board as part of a California Utility Working Group. The program reduces the upfront price of EVs by offering a point of sale rebate of up to $1,500 per vehicle, based on battery size. The program is available throughout the state and is co-funded by the California utilities using LCFS proceeds.
  • Received regulatory approval for guidance on how to return LCFS revenue back to customers in support of EV customers and state policy. PG&E will develop and propose programs and pilots in 2021 with a focus on equity and resilience.
  • Launched a new EV rate for commercial customers to accelerate transportation electrification. PG&E’s Business EV rate will make charging costs more consistent and affordable for commercial customers with EV charging like workplaces, fleets and public fast charging sites. The new rate creates a subscription-style structure, similar to a cell phone data plan, with simpler time-of-use periods than existing commercial rates and, on average, offers an eGallon equivalent price of $1.83. Over 280 sites registered for the rate within the first seven months of it being offered. PG&E also submitted an application at the CPUC for an optional day-ahead hourly real-time rate pilot that would test subscription pricing and day-ahead and hourly real time pricing for non-residential EV customers.

Innovation, R&D and Vehicle-to-Grid Integration

  • Completed SB 350 Priority Review Pilot Programs. We tested innovative approaches to deploying EV infrastructure and reducing the total cost of ownership, addressing some of the biggest barriers to adopting medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. We incorporated onsite renewable energy generation and managed charging for school buses, optimized depot and overhead charging and tested battery storage for a transit agency, and installed new transportation refrigeration unit EV infrastructure for food distribution fleets.

Measuring Progress

The number of cumulative EV registrations in PG&E’s service area reached over 320,000 in 2020, showing a gradual rebound near the end of the year from the marked drop in registrations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. PG&E estimates approximately 9% of new vehicle sales in 2020 in PG&E’s service area were electric.

Plug-In Electric Vehicles in PG&E’s Service Area Footnote 1
Year Approximate Number of EVs
2013 30,348
2014 57,772
2015 78,490
2016 111,232
2017 150,659
2018 216,845
2019 274,356
2020 320,550
  • 1. Electric Power Research Institute, based on external registration data, through December 2020.1
Electric Vehicle Rate Enrollment in PG&E’s Service Area
Year EV Rate Enrollments Footnote 1
2014 15,370
2015 22,689
2016 31,757
2017 40,798
2018 51,948
2019 60,520
2020 67,392
  • 1. Includes enrollments in all residential electric vehicle rate plans (EV-A, EV2-A, and EV-B)1
Participation in PG&E’s Clean Fuel Rebate Program
Year Number of Paid Rebates
Total 151,245
2017 42,809
2018 33,493
2019 46,731
2020 28,212

PG&E maintains a network of 24 CNG vehicle refueling facilities that are open to customers, refueling approximately 3,000 vehicles and fleets with about 1.4 million gallon equivalents each year. In 2019, PG&E began a three-year pilot to procure renewable natural gas (RNG) for our CNG vehicle customers. RNG is a lower carbon intensity fuel compared to CNG and results in greater greenhouse gas emission reductions than CNG as a replacement fuel for diesel.

PG&E-Supplied Natural Gas Consumed by the Transportation Sector
Year Natural gas consumption (Million Therms) Footnote 1
2015 2.02
2016 1.38
2017 2.39
2018 1.99
2019 1.81
2020 1.32
  • 1. Based on PG&E reporting data to the California Air Resources Board (CARB).1