BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  SB 1455
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          Date of Hearing:   June 21, 2010

                               Steven Bradford, Chair
                     SB 1455 (Kehoe) - As Amended:  June 1, 2010

           SENATE VOTE  :   35-0
          SUBJECT  :   Plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles:  Internet Web  

           SUMMARY  :   Requires the California Energy Commission (CEC), in  
          consultation with the California Public Utilities Commission  
          (PUC) to develop and maintain an Internet Web site containing  
          specific links to public utilities' web sites that contain  
          information specific to plug-in hybrid (PHEV) or fully electric  
          vehicles (EVs).  Specifically,  this bill  :   

          1)By July 1, 2011, requires the CEC, in consultation with the  
            PUC, to develop and maintain an Internet Web site containing  
            specific links to electrical corporation and local publicly  
            owned electric utility Internet Web sites or other sites that  
            contain information specific to PHEVs or EVs.

          2)Requires the CEC to include the following information:

             a)   Whether a vehicle will require a utility service upgrade  
               at the consumer's residence;

             b)   Basic charging circuit requirements;

             c)   Utility rate options; and,

             d)   Load management techniques.

           EXISTING LAW  requires the PUC to evaluate policies to develop  
          infrastructure sufficient to overcome any barriers to the  
          widespread deployment and use of  PHEVs and EVs, and adopt rules  
          by July 1, 2011.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   Unknown.

           COMMENTS  :   The author states that with the transportation  
          sector making up 40% of the state's greenhouse gas emissions, it  
          is in the best interest of the state to ensure that PHEVs and  


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          EVs be part of the solution to achieve transportation sector  
          greenhouse gas emission reductions.  It is therefore important  
          for the state to help consumers find useful information that  
          will help them make informed decisions about the relationship  
          between their home, the energy grid and purchasing a PHEV or EV.  
           Providing important and useful links from energy utilities and  
          other internet web sites will help educate consumers.

           Plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles  :  A typical PHEV combines  
          an internal combustion engine and a battery storage system.  A  
          few PHEV demonstration vehicles are on California's roads today.  
           Most are "conversions" or traditional hybrids that have been  
          converted to PHEVs.  

          A PHEV can be designed to operate in different ways.  For  
          example, it could be designed to operate using just battery  
          power for distances such as 20 miles.  This all-electric or  
          zero-emission mode is appealing in California's congested smoggy  
          inner cities.  It can be an electric vehicle for everyday short  
          trips and a gasoline car for longer trips on the weekend.  A  
          PHEV can also be designed to operate in a way that optimizes the  
          vehicle's performance, fuel economy, or other attributes.  In  
          this "blended mode" a PHEV has less all-electric range but can  
          get fuel economy of up to 100 mpg.
          Electric vehicles include, but are not limited to, PHEVs,  
          battery electric vehicles, electric golf carts and neighborhood  
          electric vehicles (NEVs).  Electric vehicles are known to have  
          faster acceleration, but shorter distance range than  
          conventional petroleum-fueled engines.  They produce no exhaust,  
          but require rather long charging times.  Smaller neighborhood  
          electric vehicles use a plug that will plug into any 110 volt  
          outlet.  However, full-function EVs use 220-240 electrical  
          outlet with charging time varying, depending on how "empty" the  
          battery is, how much energy the battery holds, and other  
          factors.  In general, it takes approximately six to eight hours  
          to recharge vehicles that are "empty."   Full-function EVs will  
          also require installation of specific charging equipment.

          Current or near-term major manufacturers of electric vehicles  
          include, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mercedes, Mitsubishi,  
          Nissan, Subaru, and Toyota.  Other EV manufacturers include  
          Tesla Motors, Think Global, Phoenix Motorcars, and others.   

           Policy background  :  AB 1493 (Pavley) Chapter 200, Statutes of  


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          2002, required the California Air Resources Board (ARB) to  
          develop and adopt, no later than January 1, 2005, regulations  
          that achieve the maximum feasible and cost-effective reduction  
          of greenhouse gases emitted by motor vehicles.  In response to  
          AB 1493, ARB promulgated regulations that require 11 percent of  
          the vehicles produced and delivered for sale in California must  
          be zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by model year 2010-11.  (Some  
          PHEVs do not qualify as ZEVs if they still use an internal  
          combustion engine.)  That number will grow incrementally until  
          2018 when a minimum of 16 percent of the vehicles produced and  
          delivered for sale in California must be ZEVs.  Manufacturers  
          may comply with the requirements through multiple alternative  
          compliance options that include the production of low-emission  

          In its 2005 Integrated Energy Policy Report, the California  
          Energy Commission (CEC) recommended that the state establish a  
          public/private "working group to examine the markets for  
          development and commercialization of [PHEVs]" and "develop  
          partnerships with equipment manufacturers to demonstrate  
          [PHEVs], assess consumer demand for these options, and support  
          early incentives to reduce initial consumer costs."  AB 1077  
          (Lieber) intended to implement the recommendation; however, it  
          failed passage in the Senate.  

          On January 18, 2007, Executive Order S-1-07 created the Low  
          Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) and called for a reduction of at  
          least 10 percent in the carbon intensity of California's  
          transportation fuels by 2020.  It instructed the California  
          Environmental Protection Agency to coordinate activities between  
          the University of California, the CEC and other state agencies  
          to develop and propose a draft compliance schedule to meet the  
          2020 target.  It also directed the ARB to consider initiating a  
          regulatory proceeding to establish and implement the LCFS.  In  
          response, ARB identified the LCFS as an early action item with a  
          regulation to be adopted and implemented by 2010.  

           Joint hearing  :  On May 24, 2010, the Assembly Transportation  
          Committee and this committee held a joint hearing to explore the  
          requirement that manufacturers produce and deliver electric  
          vehicles for sale in California as a greenhouse gas reduction  
          method.  Some of the questions and concerns raised included: (1)  
          are we shifting greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation  
          sector to the electricity generation sector, (2) how will the  
          needed infrastructure to re-power EVs be developed and by whom,  


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          (3) how will rates be set to encourage the efficient use of the  
          electricity infrastructure when recharging EVs, and (4) how can  
          California address a market for retail electricity at remote  
          public or private re-charging stations. 

          The CEC testified that California has 413 charging stations with  
          1,300 public access electric charge points.  Many of the  
          existing charging stations need to be upgraded to charge the new  
          PHEVs, however, the CEC did not address how these would be  
          funded.  The CEC reported that it has already issued about $15.3  
          million in grants for charging stations. 

          The Sacramento Municipal Utility District testified that the EV  
          owner pays for an additional meter that must be installed at the  
          residence with a dedicated EV charging outlet.  SMUD's EV  
          charging rate is approximately half the regular residential  
          rate, or about $0.04 per kWh for off-peak charging to recharge  
          an electric vehicle.

          Southern California Edison stated that that PHEVs are available  
          with different options for charging, some of which may require a  
          home electrical panel upgrade in addition to a dedicated 240  
          volt circuit.  If the customer wants to be able to install  
          faster-charging Level Two capability, the customer may need an  
          upgrade to the home electrical panel at the customer's cost.

           Is this information currently available  :  Neither the CEC nor  
          PUC have easily accessible information on their Internet web  
          sites that would include the information required by this bill.  
          PG&E includes information about establishing special electricity  
          service (E-9 service), the E-9 rate, and installation of a  
          time-of-use meter.  In addition, it includes an Electric Vehicle  
          Supply Equipment Installation Manual that provides customers and  
          contractors with information to properly install all required  
          electric vehicle charging equipment at a customer's site.  The  
          manual includes references to specific California electrical  
          code information, equipment regulations and requirements,  
          permitting issues, load management and electric vehicle charging  
          rate information.

          Southern California Edison (SCE) is the easiest and most useful  
          site, and includes a very easy-to-locate page titled, "Get  
          Plug-in Ready" that provides all the information a customer  
          needs to decide whether to purchase an electric vehicle, and the  
          necessary information for the installation of a meter, rates,  


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          and other relevant information.  San Diego Gas and Electric and  
          the Sacramento Municipal Utility District also provide an  
          easy-to-locate site with all of the pertinent information  
          required by this bill. Los Angeles Department of Water and Power  
          only states what the customer needs to know in three bullet  
          points, ((1) Understand the different vehicle and charging  
          options. (2) Find out what it will take to install a charger at  
          your home. (3) Research available financial and rate  
          incentives), however, it doesn't provide any of the information  
          and doesn't offer a link to a site that would contain the  
          necessary information.  

           PUC Rulemaking  :  Last year, the PUC opened a rulemaking  
          (R-09-08-009) to consider infrastructure, rates, and policies to  
          support EVs.  The rulemaking also addressed the requirements of  
          SB 626 (Kehoe) Chapter 355, Statutes of 2009, which requires the  
          PUC, in consultation with the CEC, the 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 PHEVs.  SB 626  
          requires the PUC to adopt rules by July 1, 2011.

          On May 21, 2010, Commissioner Ryan issued a proposed decision on  
          Phase I of the rulemaking.  The commissioner ruled that the  
          ownership or operation of a facility that sells electricity at  
          retail to the public for use only as a motor vehicle fuel and  
          the selling of electricity at retail from that facility to the  
          public for use only as a motor vehicle fuel does not make the  
          corporation or person a public utility within the meaning of the  
          Public Utilities Code.  This decision implies that the  
          commissioner considers retail electricity for use as a vehicle  
          fuel as a competitive industry.  This consideration may exempt  
          the investor-owned utilities from being required to invest in  
          public recharging facilities meters.  If the utilities are  
          required to invest in the charging infrastructure, the PUC often  
          allows the utilities to allocate costs across its customer base,  
          regardless of which customers would use the infrastructure.   
          However, the commission did not render a decision on the  
          utilities' cost-recovery methods in this phase of the  

          Phase II of the rulemaking will consider the appropriate utility  
          role in the provision of electric vehicle charging services to  
          the public; the appropriate utility role with respect to  
          charging equipment on the customer's side of the meter; and cost  


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          allocation, including a consideration of the circumstances in  
          which the costs of any distribution system upgrades should be  
          borne by an individual customer or be recoverable from all  
          customers, in addition to other related issues.  The PUC may or  
          may not address the information required by this bill.  If the  
          Phase II decision requires the utilities to include the  
          information required by this bill in their Internet web sites,  
          the PUC would only require the information from the utilities it  
          regulates, the investor-owned utilities.


          California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)
          Plug In America
          Southern California Edison (SCE) (if amended)
          Union of Concerned Scientists
          None on file.

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Gina Adams / U. & C. / (916) 319-2083