West Coast Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Initiative

Utilities in California, Oregon and Washington have recently announced the West Coast Clean Transit Corridor Initiative. The initiative will study how to develop electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure for heavy duty trucks along major interstate roads from San Diego, California to Seattle, Washington. The 1,300 miles of interstate roads are used by transportation companies to ship goods from Canada to Mexico.

The utilities participating in the West Coast Clean Transit Corridor Initiative included Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, Puget Sound Energy and Seattle City Light. These utilities provide electricity to approximately 45 million customers in California, Oregon and Washington.

The utilities estimate that the transportation sector accounts for approximately 80% of the air pollution and 40% of the greenhouse gas emissions in California, Oregon and Washington. Caroline Choi, senior vice president for corporate affairs for Southern California Edison stated, “Regional partnerships are important. These efforts in our region are primarily for the short haul. . . to support long haul we need efforts coordinating across county and state lines.”

Sacramento, California is intersected by north-south U.S. Interstate Highway I-5 and east-west U.S. Interstate Highway I-80. The city is a major transportation hub for heavy duty trucks. Bill Boyce, manager of electric transportation for Sacramento Municipal Utility District stated, “We live in one of the dirtiest air basins in the country. Reducing truck emissions is very important to us. We all need to electrify our portions in order for it be effective.

I applaud the intrastate collaboration of utilities to develop EV infrastructure for heavy duty trucks. The initiative could pave the way for a dramatic improvement in all EV infrastructure. If successful, consumers on the west coast may be purchasing more new EVs than combustion engine vehicles as soon as 2022. The EV revolution has begun.

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