Calif. utility sparks debate, proposing to install 25,000 charging stations to promote electric vehicles

The biggest utility in California yesterday proposed installing 25,000 electric vehicle charging stations with ratepayers funding the tab, triggering a debate about the best route to get more EVs on state roads. Gil Tal, a researcher with the Institute of Transportation at the University of California, Davis, had not seen the utility’s proposal but said that adding 25,000 more stations could boost the EV sales market to develop more rapidly. “Right now, it’s really hard to make a business out of installing it on your own dime. The market is not big enough,” Tal said. “For the public to pay for it … that seems like the best way, for sure, in the next five to 10 years. Later, it will become a business, but right now we need” help for it to develop. Adding workplace charging “is the most important and will have the strongest effect,” Tal said, because “there is a strong correlation between workplace charging” and EV purchases.

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