Electric cars are becoming a thing again. They’re enough of a thing again that power companies in California are going to put in charging stations for those electric cars. For owners of such vehicles — to say nothing of the manufacturers of them — this is a good thing. Increased infrastructure support makes it easier to operate them. For manufacturers, it means it’s easier to sell them.
Want to know who it’s bad for?
All the other people who are apparently going to have to pay for it.
The California Public Utilities Commission approved Jan. 14 a proposal for Southern California Edison to build 1,500 electric vehicle charging stations. The $22 million cost will be added to the rate base for utility bills for all SCE customers, regardless of whether they own any electric vehicles.
That is just the beginning of rate hikes in California to pay for other people’s electric cars. Those 1,500 charging stations, at workplaces and in parking lots of multiunit housing complexes, are a pilot program. SCE is preparing a proposal to CPUC for approval to build 30,000 charging stations at a cost of $355 million, which also will be charged to all ratepayers.
San Diego Gas and Electric and Pacific Gas and Electric have proposals pending with CPUC to pay for their own programs to install electric vehicle charging stations. This is all going to add up to hundreds of millions of dollars to customers’ utility bills.
So, let us get this straight.
You have a group of people who can afford electric cars. Since these aren’t particularly common on the used car market, these are generally brand new cars. That’s something not everyone can afford to buy.
Next, you have a power company that wants to support these cars. No surprise, since this represents a new market for them. No issue in and of itself.
So, the power companies look at this market and decide, “Well, someone has to pay for it.” Again, no issue. Someone does have to pay for it after all.
It seems to us that the governing powers in California are too cavalier about the extra costs their policies impose on average working people in the state, let alone the poor.
Low-income families pay a disproportionate percentage of their income for power already. When rates are simply based on the cost of doing business, there’s not much to be done.
That’s now what we have here.