Energetics conducted third-party evaluations of several major transportation electrification demonstration projects, undertaken by California utilities.
The demonstrations are part of a larger state-wide strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change. In 2018, the California Public Utilities Commission issued a decision that authorized the three large investor-owned utilities—Southern California Edison (SCE), Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), and San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E)—to launch 15 transportation electrification pilot demonstrations. A second decision authorized three small investor-owned utilities—PacifiCorp, Bear Valley Electric Service (BVES), and Liberty Utilities (Liberty)—to initiate 7 additional projects. The demonstrations included charging infrastructure installation, both for designated vehicle fleet use and for public access, and strategies to increase awareness and understanding of electric vehicles, thereby accelerating their adoption.
The two decisions required the utilities to select a third-party evaluator to assess the success of each project and determine whether and how it could be scaled for the future. In response, the utilities issued a request for proposals for consultants to fulfill this role. The utilities selected an evaluation team led by Energetics and supported by the Cadmus Group, Idaho National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Davenergy Solutions.
The evaluation team quantified each project’s potential for scale-up, determined which investments would have the most impact on accelerating technology adoption and reducing petroleum dependence, assessed societal and economic benefits for disadvantaged communities, and documented lessons learned to inform nearly $1 billion in investment in transportation electrification programs by these utilities over the next five years.
Energetics completed the final report (available on the California Public Utilities Commission website) in the spring of 2021. The evaluation provides insights and lessons learned from these deployments that will facilitate future transportation electrification efforts, both within California and across the nation.