As the only Northern California-based member of the Transportation Electrification Partnership (TEP), East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) plays a unique role in shaping our work within the Greater Los Angeles region and applying their learnings throughout the state. EBCE is the second largest Community Choice Aggregation provider in California, a public agency Joint Powers Authority (JPA), and the default Load Serving Entity formed under Assembly Bill 117 (2002). Governed by a 15-member Board of Directors consisting of elected officials from each of its JPA member communities in Alameda County and the City of Tracy (San Joaquin County), EBCE meets the electricity needs of over 60,000 commercial and industrial accounts and serves all residential accounts representing 1.7 million people. EBCE is also tasked with the development and management of energy related climate programs, including transportation electrification initiatives, that help their local government JPA member achieve local and state greenhouse gas reduction goals.
Participating in TEP since early 2020 has enabled EBCE to establish new strategic relationships with a variety of stakeholders including industry players in the medium- and heavy-duty goods movement sector that have a footprint in northern and southern California. This truly unique and dynamic partnership between TEP and EBCE enables market acceleration of zero-emission transportation statewide.
Light-duty EV Charging
One key area of focus for EBCE is light-duty electric vehicle charging. EBCE’s transportation electrification team has conducted an analysis to understand homecharging access throughout their service territory and identify critical disparities that could hinder widespread EV adoption. EBCE identified that in Alameda County alone 47% of the population are renters and 90% of all multifamily housing properties with 5+ units are 50 years old or older, which means that electrical capacity upgrades will be likely across this building portfolio. Those upgrades are the property owner’s responsibility and not the tenants (e.g., key barrier to deploying Level 1 and/or Level 2 charging to enable home charging). Because those upgrades cannot occur quickly at the scale needed to meet the state’s goals, EBCE is prioritizing deployment of reliable, convenient, and cost-effective public fast charging options near where renters live to ensure all residents in EBCE’s service area can join the transition to EVs.
One such example is the Alameda County Incentive Project (AICP), which recently provided $17.3 million in incentives for publicly-accessible fast charging and Level 2 infrastructure. Co-funded by the California Energy Commission’s (CEC) Electric Vehicle Incentive Project (CALeVIP) and EBCE, unique requirements of the program included allocating budget specifically for fast chargers that had to be located in areas EBCE identified as multi-unit dwelling “hotspots”. EBCE was also able to change the CEC’s CALeVIP rules for multifamily property Level 2 charging incentive “adders,” opening the door for any affordable multifamily provider, regardless of whether their property was in a disadvantaged community or low-income census tract boundary, to have access to this beneficial funding.
Another example of EBCE’s commitment to making the transition to EVs more accessible is their expanding fast charging network. EBCE’s equity-based strategy is focused on developing large fast charging hubs, owned by EBCE, in its multi-unit dwelling hotspots. This will eliminate charging deserts and provide access to charging for all, faster. EBCE’s first project is on the border of West Oakland and downtown in a municipal parking garage. Once built, it will be the largest fast charging hub in Oakland and 2nd largest in Alameda County with 17 dual port fast chargers. The garage is within 2 square miles of approximately 1,000 multifamily properties with 5+ units. There are currently no fast chargers in West Oakland, so this new hub will be a 100% increase in access to fast charging by nearby residents from baseline.
Medium- and Heavy-Duty (MD/HD) Goods Movement
EBCE’s electrification goals extend beyond the light-duty sector as well, as their service area is among the most strategic trade locations in the U.S. with connections to regional, state, national, and international markets. Alameda County provides most of the fundamental goods movement infrastructure in Northern California, including the Port of Oakland, Oakland International Airport and major freight corridors spanning into the Central Valley. Much of the focus on zero-emission goods movement to date has been centered on drayage trucks specifically operating at ports. However, to comprehensively transition to a zero-emission goods movement economy, EBCE’s lens is beyond port boundaries for deployment of charging infrastructure to ensure all MD/HD stakeholders have access where they need it most.
EBCE envisions an ecosystem of MD/HD goods movement vehicles that will recharge at facilities where they are domiciled, at third-party logistic facilities where they do business, and at convenient common fast charging yards that operate much like a wholesale gas station. Additionally, because origination of MD/HD goods movement vehicle trips is not exclusive to one city and is regional, a comprehensive approach to planning for this transition is necessary to bring the biggest community benefit to vulnerable populations.
As we push towards an electrified future, interregional collaboration will be more important than ever to ensure that the EV revolution extends beyond the Greater LA area. Through close cooperation, we can learn from other regions and share our own best practices in order to reach our common goals and create a cohesive, replicable system. Through EBCE’s active participation in TEP, we can show the world how collaboration transcends geography as we work towards an electrified California.
– Shevonne Sua, LACI Transportation Program Coordinator
The Transportation Electrification Partnership (TEP) is an unprecedented regional public-private collaboration to accelerate deep reductions in climate and air pollution by the time of the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games. All of our partners have committed to work individually and collectively to pursue policies, pilot projects, and other actions that are equity-driven, create quality jobs, grow the economy, and help the region reach the bold targets in the TEP’s Zero Emissions 2028 Roadmap 2.0.