2018 Legislature Wrap-Up: Governor Brown Signs Clean Transportation Bills

The California Legislature continues to lead the nation in clean transportation initiatives, passing several bills this session that will support and encourage expanded use of low and zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs).The following were signed by Governor Brown on September 13, 2018.

AB 2127

California includes clean transportation in its existing integrated energy planning process, but this bill creates a new planning obligation focused specifically on the adequacy of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. Recognizing the state’s ambitious goals for addressing climate change and expanding transportation electrification, Assembly Bill 2127 requires the California Energy Commission (CEC), working together with other agencies, to prepare a biennial statewide assessment of the EV charging infrastructure needed to meet the state’s goals of putting at least 5 million ZEVs on the road by 2030, and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.

The CEC assessment must address the full range of EV charging infrastructure, across a wide spectrum of residential, commercial, industrial and government EV uses. For this biennial assessment and ongoing updating activities, the CEC will regularly seek data and input from other agencies, utilities, transit agencies, EV charging infrastructure companies, environmental groups and auto manufacturers.

SB 1000

Senate Bill 1000 creates new policy directives related to the planning for and deployment of EV charging infrastructure. First, the bill prohibits cities and counties from restricting access to public charging stations that were subsidized by taxpayers or ratepayers. Second, the CEC (in consultation with the California Air Resources Board) is now required to assess whether EV charging infrastructure is “disproportionately” deployed by population density, location, or income level, and address the problem by realigning incentives if the deployment imbalance is deemed unreasonable. Finally, the bill requires the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to consider policies facilitating residential EV charging station submetering and other technologies, if cost effective, to promote grid integration, explore policies to reduce demand charges on EV drivers and fleets, and develop a time-differentiated tariff for heavy duty electric trucks and buses.

SB 1014

This bill creates the California Clean Miles Standard and Incentive Program to develop plans and standards for reduction of GHG emissions associated with transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft. The California Air Resources Board will set a TNC GHG emissions baseline by January 1, 2020, and then adopt annual targets and goals, beginning in 2023, for the reduction of GHG emissions per passenger-mile. The CPUC will implement the targets, and coordinate the Clean Miles goals into other ZEV planning and charging infrastructure programs, while minimizing impacts on low and moderate-income drivers. TNCs will begin submitting GHG emissions reduction plans in 2022 that include proposals for increasing use of ZEVs and otherwise lowering GHG emissions from rideshare.

SB 1403

Beginning in 2019, this bill would require the California Air Resources Board to include a three-year investment strategy for zero- and near-zero-emission heavy duty vehicles and equipment. The new three-year strategy would describe the role of public investments in supporting the demonstration and deployment of advanced technologies, assess available funding and investment needed, and provide a description of the Board’s portfolio of investments. In consultation with the Energy Commission, the investment strategy will include strategy information related to milestones achieved by California’s school bus incentive programs, and the projected need for school bus funding.

Ellison Schneider Harris & Donlan attorneys help our clients understand their current and future compliance obligations and participate in clean transportation policy development at the CPUC, CEC, and California Air Resources Board. If you have questions about these legislative developments, or need more information about California clean transportation programs and requirements, please contact Lynn Haug or Andy Brown at 916-447-2166.