BILL ANALYSIS SENATE TRANSPORTATION & HOUSING COMMITTEE BILL NO: SB 1455 SENATOR ALAN LOWENTHAL, CHAIRMAN AUTHOR: kehoe VERSION: 4/13/10 Analysis by: Carrie Cornwell FISCAL: yes Hearing date: April 20, 2010 SUBJECT: Plug-in hybrid electric and all-electric vehicles: consumer information DESCRIPTION: This bill requires, by January 1, 2013, that the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), in consultation with specified parties, develop a website to inform consumers who are considering the purchase of a partially or fully electric vehicle about the costs of fueling that vehicle. ANALYSIS: In 2006, the Legislature passed and the Governor signed AB 32 (N??ez and Pavley), Chapter 488, to establish a statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions limit such that by 2020 California reduces its GHG emissions to the level they were in 1990. Existing law authorizes the California Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission (CEC) to monitor transportation fuel supplies and prices in California, including publishing a biennial integrated energy policy report that examines issues of supply, demand, and supply reliability for transportation fuel. Existing law charges the California Air Resource Board (ARB) with primary responsibility for the control of mobile source air pollution, including the adoption of rules for the reduction of harmful vehicle emissions and the specification of vehicular fuel composition. Existing law requires the PUC, in consultation with the CEC, SB 1455 (KEHOE) Page 2 ARB, the air quality management districts and air pollution control districts, regulated electrical and natural gas corporations, and the motor vehicle industry to evaluate and implement policies that promote the use of electric power and natural gas to fuel low-emission vehicles. The PUC shall report every two years beginning January 30, 1993, on the policy it and other agencies implement. Existing law requires the PUC, in consultation with the CEC, ARB, electrical corporations, and the motor vehicle industry, to evaluate policies to develop infrastructure sufficient to overcome any barriers to the widespread deployment and use of plug-in hybrid electric and all-electric vehicles. By July 1, 2011, the PUC shall adopt rules to address the fueling infrastructure needs of these vehicles. This bill requires the PUC, in consultation with the CEC, electrical corporations, the motor vehicle industry, and the California Electric Transportation Coalition, to develop an internet website to inform consumers considering purchasing a plug-in hybrid electric or a fully electric vehicle of the costs and charging infrastructure associated with fueling that vehicle. The website shall include all of the following: Information to assist a consumer in determining whether buying such a vehicle will require a utility service upgrade. Basic charging circuit requirements. Utility rate options. Load management techniques. Any other information that the PUC determines is needed to fully inform the consumer of the essential costs of, and infrastructure required for, charging that vehicle. COMMENTS: 1.Purpose . The author notes that major auto manufacturers will be introducing new electric vehicles and plug-in electric vehicles in the fall of 2010 and early 2011, and as consumers seek to purchase these vehicles they will need information to understand the relationship between their home, the electricity grid, and how they could fuel the car they are considering purchasing. This bill requires the PUC, CEC, and the motor vehicle industry to develop a website for potential buyers of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles thus ensuring that the state's energy regulator and the state's energy SB 1455 (KEHOE) Page 3 commission are involved in developing that needed information and making it accessible to consumers. 2.Plug-in hybrid vehicles . Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are powered both by an engine that runs on a fuel, such as gasoline, and an electric motor that runs on a battery, which is rechargeable by plugging it into an electrical outlet. With the exception of a small number of demonstration vehicles, the only plug-in hybrids available today are conversions of the commercially available standard hybrids, such as the Toyota Prius. Plug-in conversions are reported to get around 100 miles to the gallon. 3.California Electric Transportation Coalition . This bill specifically designates the California Electric Transportation Coalition as a party that the PUC shall consult in developing the website required under this bill. California Electric Transportation Coalition bills itself as a nonprofit association of companies that work to build and shape the future market for electric-drive vehicles. The membership consists primarily of private and public electric utilities. 4.Committee of second referral . The Rules Committee referred this bill to the Energy, Utilities, and Communications Committee and to the Transportation and Housing Committee. This bill passed that committee on April 6, 2009 by a 10 to 0 vote. 5.Technical amendments . On page 3, line 11 after "upgrade" insert "at the consumer's home" On page 3, line 13, delete "Rate" and insert "Utility rate" POSITIONS: (Communicated to the Committee before noon on Wednesday, April 14, 2010) SUPPORT: None received. OPPOSED: None received.