RTD Selected for New PG&E Electric Vehicle Pilot Program

July 3, 2018
In another first for San Joaquin Regional Transit District and Stockton, Pacific Gas and Electric Company announced it will conduct an electric vehicle pilot.

In another first for San Joaquin Regional Transit District and Stockton, Pacific Gas and Electric Company announced it will conduct an electric vehicle (EV) pilot to support RTD’s long-term electric transportation needs with chargers and infrastructure improvements.

Recently approved by the California Public Utilities Commission, this pilot will be a test case for PG&E’s new FleetReady program, which supports electric charging for customers with medium-duty, heavy-duty, and off-road fleets such as transit agencies, school districts, and delivery fleets. For this new pilot with San Joaquin RTD, PG&E will test how smart charging and battery storage can lower operating costs and maximize efficiencies for the agency.

Seeking to partner with a transit agency located in a disadvantaged community who already had electric buses and plans for more in the future in order to meet the timelines of the project proposal, PG&E chose RTD. 

“Because we already had a plan for adding more electric buses to our fleet and have a long-term goal around electrification, PG&E approached us with this pilot opportunity,” said CEO Donna DeMartino. “Due to our focus on electric transportation, PG&E can jump right into creating the specifics of the pilot, which aligns with our goal of being powered by 100 percent electric vehicles by 2025.”   

The budget for this pilot is $3.35 million, which includes:

  • Design of the sites
  • Cost of the chargers and battery storage system 
  • Construction from the electric grid to the chargers and battery system 
  • Installation of the chargers and battery storage system
  • Software for charge management 
  • Collection of data 
  • Ongoing analysis and evaluation 
  • Handbook that other transit agencies can use to learn more about electrification 

Focusing on sustainable solutions to underserved communities is important to RTD. In fact, RTD placed the first all-electric Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route in the neighborhoods along the industrial corridor, which were ranked in the 96th percentile of California’s most environmentally burdened and vulnerable communities according to CalEnviroScreen 3.0 data (April 2017). 

RTD CEO Donna DeMartino made sustainability one of RTD’s four core values in its strategic plan in order to address the needs of the area’s residents.  By leveraging electric bus technology, RTD brings a bold solution to the problem of pollution in California’s San Joaquin County. In response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) designation of Stockton as a non-attainment area for air quality standards, RTD’s Board of Directors passed a resolution in August 2017 to convert 100 percent of its bus fleet serving the city of Stockton to zero-emission electric buses by 2025. 

That same month, RTD deployed four all-electric buses along a BRT route in South Stockton, making it the first fully-electric BRT route in the nation. The 12 buses already deployed save an average of 4,500 gallons of diesel fuel per month, which translates to approximately 44,900 kilowatt hours of usage. Looking ahead, five more electric buses are scheduled to arrive, and RTD is planning to “electrify” two more BRT Express routes later this year.