BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  SB 1455
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:  June 28, 2010

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION
                               BONNIE LOWENTHAL, Chair
                     SB 1455 (Kehoe) - As Amended:  June 30, 2010

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

           SUMMARY  :  Requires the California Energy Resources Conservation  
          and Development Commission (Energy Commission), 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 Energy Commission, in consultation  
            with 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 Energy Commission to include the following Web site  
            information:  

             a)   Resources to direct a consumer on how to find out if  
               their residence will require a utility service upgrade;  

             b)   Basic charging circuit requirements;  

             c)   Utility rate options; and,

             d)   Load management techniques.  

           EXISTING LAW  :  

          1)Establishes Energy Commission as the state's primary energy  
            policy and planning agency.  Among other functions,  
            administers the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle  
            Technology Program, that provides grants, loans, loan  
            guarantees, revolving loans, or other appropriate measures,  
            for the development and deployment of innovative technologies  








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            that transform California's fuel and vehicle types to help  
            attain the state's climate change goals.  

          2)Creates PUC that regulates privately owned electric, natural  
            gas, telecommunications, water, railroad, rail transit, and  
            passenger transportation companies.  Requires 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 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,  








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          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  
          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% 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% 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  
          vehicles.  

          In its 2005 Integrated Energy Policy Report, the Energy  
          Commission 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) of 2007, 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  








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          the University of California, Energy Commission, and other state  
          agencies to develop and propose a draft compliance schedule to  
          meet the 2020 target.  It also directed 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 Utilities and  
          Commerce Committee and the Assembly Transportation 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.  

          3)How will rates be set to encourage the efficient use of the  
            electricity infrastructure when recharging EVs.  

          4)How can California address a market for retail electricity at  
            remote public or private re-charging stations.  

          On June 18, 2010, Chairperson Bonnie Lowenthal conducted another  
          committee informational hearing in Long Beach on electric  
          vehicles and infrastructure needs.  Electrical utility  
          corporations and private sector automobile companies testified  
          that increasing deployment of EVs in the near future will  
          necessitate the need for consumer information as proposed by  
          this bill.  

           Is this information currently available  :  Neither the Energy  
          Commission 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  








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          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,  
          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.  

           Committee of second referral  :  This bill was first referred to  
          the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee and was passed out  
          of that committee with a vote of 14-0.  

           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :

           Support 
           
          California Public Utilities Commission 
          Plug In America
          Southern California Edison (if amended)
          Union of Concerned Scientists

           Opposition 
           
          None on file.

           
          Analysis Prepared by  :   Ed Imai / TRANS/ (916) 319-2093