The first half of 2021 represented the two best quarters of electric vehicle (EV) sales in California’s history. With more than 60,000 electric vehicles sold in Q2 2021, and an even better outlook for Q3, the state is racing to keep charging infrastructure at pace with EVs on the road.
As part of that effort, the California Public Utility Commission has released funds to utilities across the state to be used for building and improving EV charging station infrastructure. In 2020 Southern California Edison (SCE) received budget clearance for the largest single-utility EV charging program in the country: $436M from the California Public Utilities Commission to help business and property owners roll out the infrastructure and EV charging equipment necessary to support electric vehicle (EV) charging and electrify their fleets.
Through the end of 2025—or until the funds are completely allocated—SCE Charge Ready Program helps commercial customers install and maintain EV supply equipment (EVSE). In this post we take a look at the different offerings available within the Charge Ready Program and how they save SCE customers time and money.
For program participants, SCE Charge Ready Program covers 100% of the make-ready infrastructure costs on both the utility and customer-side of the meter. That means SCE will design, construct, and install everything necessary to support your EV chargers without any capital expense to you.
If you prefer to design and install EV charging infrastructure on your side of the meter, you can still get up to 80% of SCE-estimated construction costs rebated for that portion of the work.
The Charge Ready Program also offers participants post-installation rebates on the purchase and installation costs of EVSE. And the program can be stacked with other incentives and subsidies—especially the CALeVIP program—to pay for the remaining purchase and installation costs.
For multifamily buildings located in disadvantaged communities (DACs), the Charge Ready Program also offers their Turnkey Installation Program, which pays for most—if not all—EVSE equipment and installation costs as well as make-ready infrastructure. In exchange, the EVSE is owned and operated by SCE. Alternatively, participants can choose to own their EVSE and receive an EV charging station rebate to offset their maintenance and networking fees.
To take advantage of the incentives SCE is offering commercial sites, you have to meet eight straightforward qualifications:
1. You must fit within SCE’s list of eligible industry categories
2. You must own, lease, or manage the premises where the electric vehicle charging station is installed
3. You must install a minimum of four Level 2 EV charging ports or two Level 3 EV charging ports (waived for new multifamily construction)
4. You must select, purchase and install SCE approved EV charging equipment in the quantity approved by SCE
5. Your charging equipment must remain operational for at least ten years
6. You must provide data related to charging equipment usage for a minimum of five years (for on-road vehicles only)
7. You must enroll in a time-of-use rate plan if not already enrolled
8. You must enroll in a qualifying demand response program if not already enrolled
In some cases you may also be required to grant an easement to SCE to access your qualified EV charging stations. The EVSE you purchase through SCE’s Charge Ready Program must also meet a set of five requirements:
1. New EV charging equipment can only be purchased after the application has been approved and SCE has reserved funds for your project
2. All equipment must be UL and ENERGY STAR Certified
3. Your EVSE must have remote diagnostics, be capable of “remote start”, and allow for usage data collection
4. You must sign a minimum 10 year networking agreement (the cost of which can be included in your rebate request to SCE)
5. If payment is required, equipment must accept credit cards and multiple forms of payment
Enel X has helped thousands of business customers build out EVSE while taking advantage of available incentives. With a fleet of EVSE products and local expertise across SCE’s territory, we can help you seamlessly navigate the Charge Ready application process and make the EVSE decisions that best suit your business needs.
Installing Level 2 or 3 EV smart chargers come with a slew of benefits, from attracting clientele to saving money to helping decarbonize the electric grid. Both Level 2 and 3 chargers have tremendous benefits, leaving the question of which to purchase down to your site’s needs. Level 2 chargers like Enel X’s JuiceBox Pro use dedicated 240V outlets to recharge up to 45 miles of driving range per hour of charging. They’re less costly than Level 3 chargers, use less energy and are perfect for drivers who plan to spend more than an hour inside a location or only need a small recharge to get to their next charge point. Level 3 chargers—commonly called DC Fast Chargers (DCFCs)—use direct current (DC) as opposed to alternating current (AC) to charge anywhere from 8-16 times faster than Level 2 chargers. They’re ideal for drivers on long-haul trips who need to charge in a hurry. Whether you bring Level 2 chargers, DCFCs or both to your site, the business case has never been clearer.
The shift towards EVs in California is no longer speculative. EV sales are an increasingly large proportion of new car sales in the state, as high as 20% in San Jose and climbing. Along with that come both driver expectations that they’ll be able to charge outside the home, and myriad opportunities to create new revenue streams from EV charging. Commercial building owners can offer pay-to-pump EV chargers that produce passive income throughout the day. Beyond that, smart charging IoT platforms like Enel X’s JuiceNet app allows EV charger owners to participate in vehicle-to-grid demand response events, earning money by sending the grid power from plugged-in EVs during moments of peak grid strain.
The California Energy Commission anticipates the need for 1.2 million publicly available chargers by 2030 to keep up with the state’s rapid pace of EV adoption. Much of that development will happen through progressive zoning laws that require buildings to dedicate a percentage of their available parking for EV charging. Currently 6% of parking spaces in all new nonresidential buildings with 10 or more parking spaces must have EV Capable infrastructure, but that number is nearly guaranteed to go up and extend beyond new builds. Get ahead of that curve and capitalize on the financial incentives available now.
Whether you’re installing EVSE as a revenue stream, an amenity, or both, choosing a “smart” charger is the best way to protect the value of your investment. Smart chargers operate in a class of their own, affording commercial owners much more control over when and how energy gets used at their charging stations. Smart chargers like Enel X’s JuiceBox Pro accomplish this by capping the amount of clean energy they supply during a charging session and balancing the energy load of each charging station in use. Together these features help use less electricity overall, but they also help owners avoid costly demand spikes.
Smart chargers also give owners and users unbeatable transparency into their operations. Enel X’s JuiceNet IoT app offers you a view of charging and energy data that simplifies sustainability and compliance reporting and helps make budget forecasting easier, all while helping improve grid reliability and balancing grid demand. This is especially valuable for SCE’s Charge Ready Program, which requires all participants to enroll in a qualifying demand response program. Likewise the JuiceNet app gives drivers visibility into the charging process from wherever they are.
The incentives offered by SCE’s Charge Ready Program are available to a wide range of commercial building owners, but vary from one asset class to another. Here are two financial models—one for Level 2 smart charger installation at a multifamily property not located in a disadvantaged community, the other for Level 3 Fast Charging installation at a workplace—to help you estimate total project costs and better understand how much you stand to save by using the Charge Ready Program to build out your EVSE.
Model One: Level 2 Smart Chargers at a Multifamily Property
|8 Level 2 Smart Charging Stations||$20,000|
|SCE Rebate on EVSE||($11,600)|
|Utility-Side Infrastructure (SCE-owned and developed)||$0|
|TOTAL PROJECT COST||$36,400|
Model Two: JuicePump 50kW Level 3 Fast Chargers at a Workplace
|4 Level 3 Fast Charging Stations||$58,000|
|SCE Rebate on EVSE||($40,200)|
|Utility-Side Infrastructure (SCE-owned and developed)||$0|
|TOTAL PROJECT COST||$67,800|
SCE’s Charge Ready Program aims to install 38,000 EV chargers across their territory within five years and has already begun allocating project funds to customers. With so much opportunity to future-proof your business at a fraction of the cost, now is the time to bring EV charging to your site.