Southern California Fleet Owners Learn How To Go Electric

SCE’s Charge Ready Transport Program helps customers add charging for more than 8,000 trucks and industrial vehicles.

Photo Credit: Penske Truck Leasing

IRWINDALE, California — Area truck and industrial vehicle fleet owners gathered in Irwindale recently to hear about a new Southern California Edison program that can help them convert from fossil fuel to clean electric transportation.

SCE launched Charge Ready Transport, a program that aims to add charging stations for medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles at a minimum of 870 commercial sites within the utility’s 50,000 square-mile service area. The recent event helped explain to local fleet owners details of the program and the enrollment process.

“This program is specifically tailored to Southern California, where the goods movement industry is critical to the economy, but is also a major source of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution,” said Katie Sloan, SCE director of eMobility.

There will be a particular focus on targeting vehicle electrification in communities that are most impacted by pollution from medium- and heavy-duty transportation, she said.

The $356 million program is modeled after SCE’s successful Charge Ready pilot for charging station infrastructure for electric passenger cars. Through the new program, SCE plans to install infrastructure to support at least 8,490 industrial vehicles over a five-year period. For certain customers, such as school bus operators and transit agencies, the program also provides rebates to help with the purchase of charging stations.

“Clean transportation and clean energy are becoming inextricably linked, so much so, in fact, that electrifying transportation is central in our vision for a clean energy future,” said Caroline Choi, senior vice president of Corporate Affairs for Edison International and SCE. “Our vision calls for more than 7 million electric vehicles on California roads by 2030, but we need to electrify more than just passenger vehicles.”

Choi noted that the transportation sector has made tremendous progress, but it still accounts for half of California’s harmful greenhouse gas emissions when the refining of fuel is included, and more than 80% of the state’s air pollution.

Penske Truck Leasing, which was represented at the event, is one company that has made headway in electrifying its fleet.

“Penske continues to build out its electric fleet and infrastructure in order to provide the most effective vehicle technologies to our customers,” said Andrew Cullen, senior vice president of fuels and facilities at Penske. “Incentive programs like Charge Ready Transport are going to be instrumental in helping shape the future of mobility and we intend to support our utility partners in bringing these programs to market.”

The Pennsylvania-based company recently added 14 fast chargers at five of its Southern California locations. The fast chargers will support 20 heavy-duty Daimler trucks that Penske is putting into service this year in California and the Pacific Northwest. 

Charge Ready Transport is among a number of Charge Ready pilots and programs SCE is launching to support medium- and heavy-duty trucks, port equipment and other industrial vehicles, as well as public and home-based charging for cars.

Foothill Transit and Porterville Transit, two agencies that are participating in a smaller infrastructure pilot for transit buses, were at the event. Last year, Foothill signed an agreement with SCE under the pilot to install a bank of electric bus charging stations to power their 14 zero-emission plug-in electric buses. In Porterville, SCE is installing EV charging infrastructure to support 10 new electric buses.

SCE also has plans to expand its successful Charge Ready program for passenger cars to provide infrastructure for 48,000 EV chargers at workplaces, schools, community centers, destination centers and other locations where people park for extended periods of time.

Porterville Transit took part in SCE’s Charge Ready Transport pilot.

SCE’s Charge Ready Transport Bus pilot will help add 14 charging stations for the new electric buses in Foothill Transit’s fleet.

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