Electrifying SoCal’s Transportation for a Clean Energy Future
Driving to distant places as far as Santa Barbara — about 120 miles — is part of Leah Moreno and her team’s job. She is glad she bought an electric vehicle she can plug-in to at various work locations during meetings and be ready for her drive home.
As manager of Southern California Edison’s Transportation Electrification group, part of the team’s work includes managing the design and construction of the utility’s electric vehicle infrastructure, like those that feed into these charging stations, for the entire 50,000 square miles of territory.
“Transportation electrification is key to achieving California’s climate goals and without electric vehicles, we are not going to get there,” said Moreno, noting that SCE is working to support the state’s goal of getting 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025. “We are also helping clean up the air for our communities.”
Moreno’s team not only helps install the transformers, cable and smart meters that feed into the charging stations for large customers like Tesla, they manage the design and construction of electric vehicle infrastructure installed through SCE’s Charge Ready pilot program.
A recent collaborative project was with Hyundai Motor America where 113 charging stations were built at the car manufacturer’s Fountain Valley headquarters so employees can charge their electric vehicles while at work.
On Tuesday, Moreno, as president of NextGen, SCE’s employee resource group that focuses on the evolving electrical industry, hosted a Transportation Electrification Expo at the company’s Rosemead headquarters. In addition to various SCE teams discussing their work in support of transportation electrification, several vendors — including Tesla, BMW, Chevrolet, Honda and electric bus manufacturer Proterra — showcased their latest electric vehicles. Charging station vendors, including Chargepoint, Greenlots and Siemens, were also in attendance to share their products and services.
“We want to show our customers and employees that it makes sense to purchase an electric vehicle,” said Moreno. “Prices are going down, battery range is increasing and we now have more charging stations available.”
Megan Mao, SCE principal manager who oversees the Charge Ready program and is a board advisor of NextGen, attended the event to answer questions about the pilot program through which more than 400 charging stations have been installed so far.
“We just installed 21 charge ports today, so that brings us to about 433 charge ports now,” she said. “Getting charge ports out there is helping to eliminate one of the barriers to EV adoption.
“We want to make sure we have clean energy in the future for everyone and transportation electrification plays a key role,” she added.
SCE’s Charge Ready program is currently a pilot, but the company’s hope is that the state will approve a proposal to expand the current numbers into the thousands. The charging stations are built in areas like shopping malls, parking structures and other places where drivers can leave their vehicles for an extended period, making it more convenient for electric vehicle owners.
It’s all part of SCE’s efforts to electrify its transportation infrastructure to help meet California’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. In addition to the various pilot programs, SCE is working to electrify its own vehicle fleet and is offering rebates to customers such as the Clean Fuel Rewards Program.
“Transportation electrification is good for the environment, the community and our company,” said Moreno. “It is coming and we all need to be ready for it.”
For more information: edison.com/te
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