Tackling Transportation Transformation

San Diego is among innovative cities around the world that are striving to lead in quickly implementing new technology to improve services, as they promote economic development, improve transportation and increase livability. Essentially they are becoming “smart cities.” At SDG&E we believe we play a key role in moving our cities forward and helping them develop technology solutions that make our communities better. Today, SDG&E’s Vice President of Customer Services joined smart city leaders from around the nation in a discussion focused on the role of transportation in a smart city.

“Utilities are critical to the success of transportation electrification,” said panelist Loreana Marciente, Vulcan project manager.

The transportation sector is the top source for producing harmful emissions. In San Diego it accounts for more than half of all air emissions. The panel agreed tackling transportation transformation is critical. Panelist Marciente stated that shared mobility will help in this endeavor, but cities must sell more electric vehicles (EV) to improve air quality.

“Renewable energy is part of the solution but we still have a problem with carbon emissions,” said Scott Crider.  He shared SDG&E’s focus on building collaborative community, city, and business partnerships to electrify transportation and investment in EV infrastructure.  Signature to this approach is SDG&E’s Power Your Drive program that will install 3,500 chargers in our region, in underserved communities, multifamily dwellings and at business centers.

“We must invest in infrastructure to see material transformation of our transportation sector,” said Crider.

Panelists shared they were looking into electric connected vehicles as part of the solution, electric bikes and buses, and apps to help citizens make smart travel decisions. SDG&E sees transportation electrification as a solution for reducing our carbon footprint and expanding the use of clean energy as a fuel source.

If the future holds true to today’s vision and tens of thousands of EVs come on line in San Diego, management of the energy grid will also be another critical issue. Crider shared that SDG&E is already incentivizing EV owners to plug in overnight with a favorable rate structure.  This will help make the grid even more efficient, and reduce the price of EV ownership.

Panel chair, Jason Anderson of CleanTech stated, “SDG&E is one of the smartest utilities in the U.S. for all the reasons Scott just discussed.”