California Approves $1.9 Billion EV Infrastructure Investment Plan

This month, the California Energy Commission (CEC) approved a $1.9 billion investment plan that will accelerate progress on the state’s electric vehicle (EV) charging and hydrogen refueling goals.

The plan details how the CEC’s Clean Transportation Program will spend $1.9 billion in state funding over the next four years, with at least 50% targeted to benefit priority populations. The funding is part of the $48 billion California Climate Commitment, which includes more than $10 billion for zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) and ZEV infrastructure. The state also has received billions from the Biden-Harris Administration for clean transportation.

According to the CEC, the $1.9 billion in funding will result in 40,000 new chargers statewide. Combined with previous investment plans, funding from the federal government, utilities and other programs, the state expects to reach 250,000 chargers in the next few years. This is in addition to private installations and home chargers.

“We need to make sure that this is zero emission refueling infrastructure for everybody,” said CEC’s Lead Commissioner for Transportation Patty Monahan. “By investing a bulk of funds to benefit low-income and disadvantaged communities, the state is making sure communities most in need have better access to chargers and less pollution from trucks and buses.”

The funds will become available over the next four years and distributed to projects through competitive grants. Projects include direct incentive and rebate programs for businesses, non-profit organizations, tribes and public agencies.

Clean Transportation Program Highlights

First created in 2007, the Clean Transportation Program is one of the first transportation-focused funding efforts established to help advance the state’s climate change policies. To date, $1.8 billion has been invested in projects supporting ZEV infrastructure, alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies.

  • Community Benefits: Awarded 59% of funding in disadvantaged or low-income communities.
  • Chargers Installed: Installed or planned nearly 24,500 EV chargers.
  • Hydrogen Stations Opened: Allocated funding for 96 public hydrogen fueling stations, 61 are open today.
  • Car Charging Incentives: Created the California Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project to provide streamlined incentives for EV chargers.
  • Truck and Bus Incentives: Awarded $100 million to 120 projects for truck and bus charging and refueling through the Energy Infrastructure Incentives for Zero-Emission Commercial Vehicles Project.
  • Zero-Emission School Buses: Provided funding to California public school districts for electric school bus charging.
  • Manufacturing: Funded 40 ZEV and ZEV-related manufacturing projects that support in-state economic growth.
  • Job Training: Provided workforce training for more than 32,000 trainees and trainers, helping prepare workers for the clean transportation economy.

EV Infrastructure Assessment Results

The CEC also approved the second Assembly Bill 2127 Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Assessment earlier this month. The assessment projects how much publicly available charging infrastructure is needed to meet demand. Results show:

  • In 2030:
    • 7.1 million EVs need 1 million chargers.
    • 155,000 electric trucks and buses need 114,500 chargers.
  • In 2035:
    • 15.2 million EVs need 2.1 million chargers.
    • 377,000 electric trucks and buses need 264,000 chargers.

Last year, Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill extending the program and providing a dedicated source of funding for ZEV infrastructure through 2035.

To improve the EV charging experience, the CEC is developing first-in-the-world state regulations for charger reliability and reporting. A stringent performance standard will apply to all new publicly funded infrastructure and the chargers will be required to disclose operational data to help drivers make more informed choices.

California’s ZEV Market

In 2023, 25% of new cars sold in California were zero-emission. The state surpassed both its zero-emission truck sales and vehicle sales goals two years ahead of schedule and surpassed its 10,000 fast EV chargers goal more than a year ahead of schedule, according to the Governor’s office.

The success of the state’s programs has led to ZEVs becoming a top export and has spurred major advances in manufacturing and job creation, according to reports from the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development and the CEC.

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