TODAY’S STUDY: The Policy Fight For EVs
The 50 States of Electric Vehicles: Q2 2019
August 2019 (North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center)
Q2 2019 ELECTRIC VEHICLE ACTION
In Q2 2019, 43 states plus DC took a total of 425 actions related to electric vehicles…Of the 425 actions catalogued, the most common were related to Regulation (109), followed by Financial Incentives (99), and Market Development (88).
TOP ELECTRIC VEHICLE ACTIONS OF Q2 2019
Five of the quarter’s most notable electric vehicle actions are noted below.
Electric Vehicle Study Completed in Vermont, New Study Initiated
The Vermont Public Utility Commission (PUC) released its final electric vehicle report in June 2019, following a year-long investigatory proceeding. The report includes numerous recommendations for government, utilities, and third parties. State lawmakers also enacted a bill in June 2019 that directs the PUC to prepare a report on additional specific issues related to electric vehicles, including tariff designs and fees to support transportation infrastructure.
Regulators Approve Electric Vehicle Programs for Pepco, Delmarva, and DTE
Regulators in DC, Delaware, and Michigan approved electric vehicle investment and rate plans for Pepco, Delmarva Power & Light, and DTE Electric, respectively, during Q2 2019. Programs proposed by Delmarva and DTE were approved in full, while DC regulators partially approved Pepco’s program and opened a new proceeding to continue working on the transportation electrification program.
Minnesota Utilities File Transportation Electrification Plans
Minnesota Power, Otter Tail Power, and Xcel Energy filed transportation electrification plans in June 2019, pursuant to the Public Utilities Commission’s February directive. The plans include new rate options for residential, commercial, and DCFC vehicle charging, as well as deployment of utility-owned charging infrastructure and investments in fleet electrification.
Hawaii and Maine Lawmakers Approve New Electric Vehicle Rebate Programs
Legislators in Hawaii and Maine enacted bills creating new electric vehicle rebate programs during Q2 2019. In Hawaii, the Public Utilities Commission will administer the program, which will provide rebates of $4,500 for Level 2 charging stations and $35,000 for DC fast chargers developed for public, commercial, or multi-family use. Rebate amounts for Maine’s new program will be determined by Efficiency Maine.
Seven States Exempt Charging Stations from Public Utility Regulation
Policymakers or regulators in seven states took actions exempting electric vehicle charging stations from public utility regulation in Q2 2019. Lawmakers in Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Vermont passed bills establishing this exemption, while utilities commissions in Kentucky and Iowa issued decisions to clarify that charging stations do not fall under their jurisdiction.
TOP ELECTRIC VEHICLE POLICY TRENDS OF Q2 2019
States Establishing Guidelines for Utility Transportation Electrification Plans
Recently, several states have been authorizing or directing utilities to file transportation electrification plans and developing guidelines for such plans. These plans often include a combination of direct utility infrastructure deployment, incentive programs, new rate options, and customer education and outreach. In Minnesota, the Public Utilities Commission directed utilities to file transportation electrification plans by June 30th, while Arizona regulators recently adopted an electric vehicle policy implementation plan that directs utilities to develop a joint, comprehensive transportation electrification plan by December 31st . In Oregon, regulators approved rules for transportation electrification plans in April 2019. Legislation enacted in New Mexico directs utilities to file transportation electrification plans by January 2021, while a bill enacted in Washington authorizes utilities to file transportation electrification plans.
States Exempting Electric Vehicle Charging Stations from Public Utility Regulation
Seven states have established exemptions from public utility regulation for electric vehicle charging stations so far in 2019. At least 32 states have adopted such an exemption in at least certain jurisdictions, which reduces regulatory burden and typically allows charging station owners to charge users by the kWh for electricity consumed. Five of the exemptions approved in 2019 (in Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Vermont) were the result of legislation, while two exemptions (in Kentucky and Iowa) were affirmed by regulators. Notably, Montana’s legislation exempts charging stations from classification as public utilities, but prohibits owners from charging users by the kWh. While these exemptions are fairly noncontroversial, other related issues are proving more contentious. For example, in Iowa, regulators are now considering whether charging stations covered by the regulatory exemption should be required to purchase electricity from the incumbent utility.
Policymakers Setting Targets for Zero-Emission State Fleet Vehicles
Policymakers in multiple states have recently adopted requirements for the procurement of zero-emission or electric vehicles by state agencies. Oregon lawmakers approved a requirement for 25% of new light-duty state vehicles to be zero-emission vehicles by 2025, while the Vermont General Assembly enacted legislation requiring 50% of vehicles purchased or leased by the Department of Buildings and General Services to be hybrid or plug-in electric vehicles. In Maryland, all school buses purchased by county boards of education must be zeroemission vehicles beginning in October 2022. The New York State Senate has passed a bill requiring all passenger vehicles purchased by the state to be zero-emission vehicles by 2030, and other bills adopting zero-emission vehicle procurement targets remain under consideration in Massachusetts and New Jersey.