As electric vehicle (EV) adoption increases across California, the state continues to ramp up its EV goals, investing in subsidies for EV infrastructure and banning the sale of gas cars after 2035. California accounts for nearly half of all EV sales nationwide, and in the San Jose area, EVs constituted 20% of new vehicle sales in 2019. Commercial sites are seeing the value of having EV chargers onsite to attract clientele and future-proof their business.
The California Public Utilities Commission has made extensive efforts to help further these trends. Part of their efforts include providing grant money to help state utilities improve EV charging infrastructure through programs like Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E’s) incentives.
Since 2018, PG&E has received $22.4M from the Commission to help commercial customers offset the costs of EV Supply Equipment (EVSE) and fleet electrification. Through the end of 2025—or until the funds are completely allocated—PG&E is paying for Level 2 and DC Fast Charging (DCFC) infrastructure installation—and in some cases part of the charger costs themselves—at commercial customer sites. PG&E is offering these infrastructure incentives through two programs, the EV Fast Charge Program and the EV Fleet Program. Read on to learn how you can take advantage of the savings.
How does PG&E’s EV Fast Charge Program work?
PG&E’s EV Fast Charge Program pays for and manages 100% of the “make ready” portion of EVSE installation for qualifying commercial customers. “Make-ready” work ranges from electrical infrastructure improvements like new transformers or panels to concrete pouring, mounting cellular repeaters and running conduit and wire. Because the program requires customers to install a minimum number of DCFC stations with a minimum 50kW output—like the JuicePump 50kW—make-ready work is almost always required, and can easily become the most expensive part of EVSE installation.
For sites located in disadvantaged communities, PG&E will also pay up to $25,000 of purchase costs per DCFC charging station, which can easily cover nearly the full cost of the hardware. Taken together, those subsidies cover everything but modest charger installation costs and ongoing electricity and EVSE software dues, which can be quickly recouped through EV charging station use fees.
As with most utility programs, incentives from PG&E’s EV Fast Charge Program can be stacked with other rebates, from federal all the way down to local. If you qualify for the CALeVIP program, for instance, you can drive already low project costs down even further.
Am I eligible To participate in PG&E’s EV Fast Charge Incentive Program?
To take advantage of the incentives PG&E is offering commercial sites, you have to meet six simple qualifications:
- You must receive electric service from PG&E under a commercial plan
- Your site has to be publicly accessible 24/7 and appear on charging maps
- The charging stations you install must have at least a 50kW charging capacity
- Your charging stations must use CHAdeMo or CCS charging connectors, and your site must have at least one of each connector available
- Your charging stations must remain operational for five years following activation
- You must procure charging stations from a PG&E eligible vendor
How does PG&E’s EV Fleet Program work?
PG&E’s EV Fleet Program pays for 50% of the costs of an EV charging station, up to $42,000 depending on the EV charger’s power output. It also offers a variety of cash back incentives for EV fleet leasing or purchases:
- $9,000 off the cost of electric transit buses and Class 8 vehicles
- $3,000 off the cost of transportation refrigeration units (TRU), truck stop electrification (TSE), airport ground support equipment (GSE), and forklifts
- $4,000 off the cost of electric school buses, local delivery trucks, and other vehicles
Am I eligible to participate in PG&E’s EV Fleet Program?
To take advantage of PG&E’s commercial incentives for EV fleets and charging infrastructure, there are six straightforward qualifications you’ll need to meet:
- You must receive electric service from PG&E under a commercial plan
- You must own or lease the property on which you plan to install EVSE
- You must install at least 2 EV charging stations
- Your EV Fleet and EVSE must be used for medium- and heavy-duty applications
- You must provide PG&E data related to EV usage for at least 5 years after charging stations are installed and operational
- You must agree to operate and maintain charging equipment for at least 10 years
As a qualified PG&E EVSE vendor, Enel X Way is uniquely positioned to help commercial property owners and businesses take advantage of PG&E EV rebate programs while stacking federal, state and local incentives on top. To see a full list of the PGE EV incentives you may qualify for, check out our online rebate checker. We’ve guided more than 4,000 business customers at 35,000+ sites through the EVSE setup process, ensuring they tapped into incentives wherever possible.
Why installing smart chargers at your site is good business
As EV use increases, property owners and operators stand to benefit in a host of ways from installing Level 2 smart chargers, Level 3 (DCFC) chargers or both. Level 2 smart chargers use dedicated 240V outlets to charge up to nine times faster than residential Level 1 chargers, and chargers like Enel X Way’s JuiceBox Pro also come with “smart” functionality, enabling an EV owner to track charging progress and enabling them to manage costs by optimizing the amount of energy their site uses and the timing of consumption. An easy to use, intuitive interface makes charging data easily accessible to support sustainability reporting, fleet management, and energy management.
Level 3 smart chargers (DCFCs) use direct current (DC) as opposed to alternating current (AC) to charge anywhere from 8-16 times faster than Level 2 chargers. DCFCs help EV drivers complete longer drives or recharge in a hurry, and like Level 2 smart chargers, they can help generate revenue for owners.
Ample evidence reveals EV charging stations act as a compelling amenity for tenants and customers. As far back as 2016, 58% of renters who planned to buy an EV by 2021 said they’d pay more rent for access to a charger. What’s more, access to charging stations can serve as an alternative to gas stipends or reimbursements for employees, and they help cement a property or company’s commitment to sustainability.
A compliance resource
California state and local governments continue rolling out EV and EVSE-related building regulations to help support EV adoption. Many of these guidelines apply to both new and retrofitted buildings. Examples range from the CALGreen mandate that 250,000 EV charging stations be available by 2035 to building codes requiring 6% of parking spaces in all new nonresidential buildings with 10 or more parking spaces to have EV Capable infrastructure. With state building codes set for reconsideration in 2022, that percentage is likely to increase considerably.
A future-proofing tool
Installing smart charging stations like Enel X Way’s JuiceBox Pro or JuicePump 50kW helps future-proof existing infrastructure by meeting the state’s growing need for EV charging. And building infrastructure ahead of expected changes to building codes makes good common sense. Additionally smart EV charging enables revenue generation and reduced OpEx. It opens a new revenue stream by allowing you to charge for the “fuel” provided, and by better enabling your site to participate in demand response events.
An incentive-rich opportunity
Beyond revenue generation, billions of dollars in incentives are currently available from both utilities and government entities for EV installation, making the process CapEx minimal and drastically reducing the time to value.
Aside from PG&E’s EV Fast Charge and Fleet Incentive Programs, local and regional rebates like the CALeVIP program offer up to $7,500 in rebates per Level 2 charger, and up to $80,000 per DCFC charger. And federal tax credit is available to cover 30% of commercial installation for EV chargers, with deeper rebates are under consideration in Washington right now.
What makes smart EV charging different
PG&E’s EV Fast Charge Program and many incentive programs like it require participants to install a smart charger. They do so because they understand the value smart chargers uniquely provide to the electric grid and consumers, both in their ability to collect and report data and better manage electricity demand. So what puts smart chargers in a class of their own?
Key Smart Charging Features
- Load balancing
Enabled by charging caps, load balancing allows providers to use less electricity, lower demand strain, and prevent demand spikes.
- Charging cap
Enables load balancing and energy management by placing a cap on the amount of energy that an electric vehicle charging station will supply during a charging session.
- Tariff optimization
Takes advantage of the lowest “costs of fuel” available through dynamic rate structures.
- Charging prioritization
Prioritizes the order and level to which vehicles are charged when multiple vehicles are plugged in. Gives drivers the added touchpoint of a mobile application that provides visibility into the charging process.
- Data access
A dashboard provides access to charging and energy data to bolster sustainability reporting and make compliance reporting easier.
How much installing EVSE could cost through PG&E’s EV Fast Charge Program
While your costs will vary depending on which EVSE vendor you partner with, how many chargers you install, and whether your site is in a disadvantaged community, our EV savings eBook will help you get a rough estimate of how much you stand to save by using the EV Fast Charge Program.
With 73,000 chargers already installed across the state, 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. For PG&E customers, there has never been a better time to help meet that demand by installing EVSE at your site.