An electric truck at the Port of San Diego. Courtesy SDG&E

San Diego Gas & Electric is planning to install charging stations throughout the county to support 3,000 zero-emission trucks, buses and heavy industrial vehicles.

The utility filed a proposal with the California Public Utilities Commission last week seeking approval of a five-year program that the utility estimates would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 42,000 metric tons per year.

The plan targets a portion of the more than 100,000 Class 2 through Class 8 commercial vehicles that operate at the congested ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border. These diesel-powered vehicles produce more particulate pollution than all of the state’s power plants combined.

“We live in an exciting time because technological barriers are disappearing, and it’s now feasible for vehicles and equipment that transport people and goods to be powered by new electricity and natural gas engine technology, which is much cleaner than conventional gasoline and diesel engine technology,” said Caroline Winn, SDG&E’s chief operating officer.

A cutting-edge part of the proposal is an electric school bus pilot project. Bus batteries would be charged during the day when there is abundant solar power and discharged when there is high demand on the power grid.

Among the companies and organizations offering support for the SDG&E proposal were the Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce, UC San Diego, Amazon, North County Transit District, Sierra Club, Ace Parking, Sysco and the San Diego Air Pollution Control District.

The new proposal comes on the heels of SDG&E receiving approval  on Jan. 11 to proceed with several pilot projects to install charging stations at the Port of San Diego, San Diego International Airport, park-and-ride lots, shuttle hubs and delivery fleet hubs.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.