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EV charging should be regulated, California official says

A group of leaders speaking about electric vehicles at the BloombergNEF Summit in San Francisco

California Energy Commissioner Patty Monahan, second from left, speaks Tuesday at the BloombergNEF Summit in San Francisco. Photo courtesy of BloombergNEF

California needs to move to a place where EV charging networks are regulated, said Patty Monahan, the Transportation Lead Commissioner of the California Energy Commission, said at an industry event on Tuesday.

Why it matters: A lack of reliable public charging infrastructure is a barrier to greater adoption of electric vehicles.

What they're saying: At the BNEF Summit in downtown San Francisco on Tuesday, Monahan spoke about how the CEC has drafted reliability standards for chargers and wants to require all networked chargers to provide data about usage and reliability.

  • Making that data transparent and ranking providers will help with improving reliability, said Monahan.
  • "Right now it's like the wild, wild west and we need a sheriff. I'm viewing the CEC as the sheriff in town when it comes to reliability regulations."
  • Monahan said as far as she knows, California will be the first state to have reliability standards for chargers.

Zoom in: According to the CEC's data, California will need 1 million chargers for light duty electric vehicles by 2030, and 2 million by 2035.

  • Charging networks "have a huge impact" on EV sales, said Monahan. "Range anxiety is real."
  • Every legislator who owns an EV has had a bad charging experience, Monahan said. Legislators are telling her, "you need to make sure that you're holding these charging providers accountable."
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