The state of California is moving to expand the availability of electric vehicle (EV) fast charging stations in low-income and disadvantaged communities. The California Energy Commission (CEC) is offering rebates to cover the cost of installing DC fast chargers with a minimum output of 150 kW. These rebates can cover up to 50% of the total project cost, capped at $50,000 for chargers 150 kW to 274.99 kW and $100,000 for chargers 275 kW and above.
In addition to these efforts, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is also making changes to electric vehicle purchase incentives to help low-income drivers. CARB has announced that income-based incentives will become the norm nationwide and will give priority to low-income applicants.
Electric vehicles account for 15% of new car sales in California, and the share is even higher for plug-in hybrid vehicles. The state is actively working to increase the number of public charging stations for electric vehicles. However, a recent analysis shows that these are performing better than expected in terms of charging performance and charging points per road length.
Despite expansion efforts, the reliability of fast chargers remains a problem in the state. A study last year found that 22.7% of DC fast-charging sites in California were down, many with long downtime.
California’s commitment to expanding electric vehicle fast-charging infrastructure and making it more accessible to low-income communities is a significant step toward widespread electric vehicle adoption.