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,  




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          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  




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            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.