Assemblywoman Pilar Schiavo, D-Chatsworth, has announced her appointment as chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Electric Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure, as well as the introduction of electrified roads and parking lot legislation aimed at opening new possibilities to address the growing need for electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
Both her appointment and the legislation she introduced are focused on the goal of achieving a zero-emissions transportation sector in California, according to a statement issued by Schiavo’s office.
There are 36 million registered vehicles in California, the statement said. Based on estimates produced by the California Air Resources Board, 5 million zero emission vehicles would require 700,000 public chargers and 8 million would require 1.2 million shared chargers. As of 2021, there were only 70,000 public EV chargers with another 123,000 planned.
The bill Schiavo introduced, Assembly Bill 823, would expand the scope of existing clean transportation programs run by the state to include new and innovative approaches to charge electric vehicles while driving on roads or parked, the statement said.
“As an early adopter of an electric vehicle, this issue is very personal. If EVs are going to be a centerpiece of our transition to a zero-emission transportation sector, California must undergo an energy revolution. Apart from the sheer magnitude of charging infrastructure needed, California must thoroughly consider equity in deployment,” Schiavo said in the statement.
“Not all renters or older apartments can cheaply or easily accommodate charging, the range of electric vehicles can create hurdles for rural communities and long-distance driving, and utility companies will be under pressure to quickly connect charging infrastructure to the grid. As chair of the select committee dedicated to these issues, I fully intend to open this conversation in order to ensure the Legislature works toward practical solutions informed by conversations as broad reaching as possible,” Schiavo added.
One innovative approach is being deployed in Sweden and now for the first time domestically in Detroit, which is investing in pilot programs to evaluate the potential of electric roads, the statement said. These roads are a new technology providing both charging flexibility and integration with the road network and parking lots that, if deployed strategically, could address many of the equity concerns surrounding current EV charging, according to the statement. AB 823 opens up the potential to fund similar projects in California.
“Electric roads are an innovative approach worth investigating, but they are not the end-all be-all,” Schiavo added. “To address the complex issue of reaching zero-emission transportation in California, we must consider numerous technologies, align with other efforts in the zero-emission vehicle space, and support businesses leading the way in making the transition. I’m excited to sign in to this work and make sure we are supporting all of California’s communities in bringing forward a healthier and greener future.”