Southern California Edison (SCE) in the US has received approval from state officials for an electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure programme worth $436m, known as Charge Ready 2.

The light-duty EV charging programme will add approximately 38,000 new chargers across the 50,000-square-mile service area.

It focuses on providing charging infrastructure at workplaces, public parking lots, schools, hospitals and destination centres.

The installation over the next five years, modelled after the Charge Ready pilot, will help California achieve its climate goals.

SCE eMobility and Building Electrification director Katie Sloan said: “This action by the California Public Utilities Commission is critical to supporting California’s transition from fossil fuel toward electrification.

“Also, investment in EV charging infrastructure can be a catalyst to help with economic recovery from Covid-19 while also supporting vital air quality and climate benefits to all communities.”

Under the programme, SCE will install and maintain the charging infrastructure while reducing charging station costs.

EV charging ports in new multifamily dwellings are currently under construction.

Charge Ready 2 has located 50% of the chargers in disadvantaged communities or economically impacted communities that suffer the most from air pollution.

The programme is an extension of SCE’s Charge Ready pilot, launched in 2017.

During the pilot phase, the utility added more than 1,800 EV chargers across more than 100 sites.

SCE Air and Climate Policy principal manager Jered Lindsay said: “By making more charging stations available, we are helping to advance a key component of California’s ambitious climate and transportation electrification goals.

“SCE’s analysis of the steps that the state must take over the next 25 years to meet those goals calls for 76%, or 26 million, cars on California highways to be electric.”

SCE launched a programme last year for trucks, buses and off-road industrial equipment.