Sponsored by The Climate Center

SB 233 (Skinner) Bidirectional Electric Vehicle Charging

Electric bus charging. Image by Sonoma County Transit

SB 233 — introduced by Senator Nancy Skinner and co-sponsored by The Climate Center, Nuvve, and the Union of Concerned Scientists — aims to unlock the potential for California’s millions of electric vehicles to power homes during outages, lower energy bills for Californians, and make the whole electricity grid more reliable. The bill will require most new electric vehicles (EVs) sold in California to have bidirectional charging capability by 2030.

Bidirectional charging makes it possible for electric vehicles to become “batteries on wheels” — capable of using the energy stored in their batteries to back up the power grid, homes, and businesses.

According to the California Energy Commission, the state expects to have 8 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030. Currently, only a small fraction of California’s electric vehicle fleet has bidirectional capability. By requiring that most EVs sold by 2030 are bidirectional, California can harness the momentum of a market moving swiftly toward an electrified future.

Location: Cleared the Senate floor by a vote of 29 to 9. Headed to the State Assembly.

What advocates have to say about the bill:

“SB 233 will make electric vehicles into a power resource that will help achieve California’s clean energy goals and bolster grid reliability. We are grateful to Senator Skinner for her leadership on this critical legislation and to her colleagues in the Senate for recognizing the powerful potential of equipping the growing number of electric vehicles with bidirectional charging.” —Daniel Barad, Western States Policy Manager, Union of Concerned Scientists

“Bidirectional charging is a cornerstone in California’s clean energy and clean transportation future. Turning EVs into mobile storage is critical to provide the flexibility our grid needs and will dwarf stationary storage while helping contain rising electricity costs.” —Gregory Poilasne, CEO, Nuvve Holding Company

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