NewEnergyNews: MONDAY’S STUDY: Action To Bring Transportation Electrification Expands


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  • MONDAY’S STUDY AT NewEnergyNews, July 13:
  • A Global New Energy Recovery

    Monday, March 09, 2020

    MONDAY’S STUDY: Action To Bring Transportation Electrification Expands

    The 50 States of Electric Vehicles: 2019 Review and Q4 2019

    February 2020 (North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center)

    Executive Summary


    The purpose of this report is to provide state and local lawmakers and regulators, electric utilities, the electric power industry, the transportation industry, and other energy stakeholders with timely, accurate, and unbiased updates about how states are choosing to study, adopt, implement, amend, or discontinue policies associated with electric vehicles. This report catalogues proposed and approved legislative, regulatory, and utility rate design changes affecting electric vehicles during the most recent quarter, as well as state and investor-owned utility proposals to deploy electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.


    The authors identified relevant policy changes and deployment proposals through state utility commission docket searches, legislative bill searches, popular press, and direct communications with stakeholders and regulators in the industry.

    Questions Addressed

    This report addresses several questions about the U.S. electric vehicle landscape, including:

    • How are states addressing barriers to electric vehicle and charging infrastructure deployment?

    • What policy actions are states taking to grow markets for electric vehicles and related infrastructure?

    • How are utility companies designing rates and electric vehicle supply equipment companies designing charging equipment and controls to influence charging behavior of electric vehicle owners?

    • Where and how are states and utilities proposing to deploy or pay for electric vehicles and electric vehicle charging infrastructure?

    ‘Actions Included

    This report focuses on cataloguing and describing important proposed and adopted policy changes related to electric vehicles. For the purpose of this report, the definition of electric vehicle includes all-electric vehicles (EVs), hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), and plug-in electric vehicles (PHEVs). In order to explore all policy actions related to electric vehicles, this report catalogs and describes actions related to the deployment of electric vehicle charging equipment, which is often referred to as electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE). Additionally, the electric grid is impacted by electric vehicle charging, so legislative and regulatory actions related to electric utilities are included in this report.

    In general, this report considers an “action” to be a relevant (1) legislative bill that has been introduced, (2) executive order, or (3) regulatory docket, utility rate case, or rulemaking proceeding. Only statewide actions and those related to investor-owned utilities are included in this report. Specifically, actions tracked in this issue include:

    Studies and Investigations

    Legislative or regulatory-led efforts to study electric vehicles specifically, or electric vehicles as part of a broader grid modernization study or investigation.


    Changes to state rules related to electric vehicles, including registration fees, homeowner association limitations, and electricity resale regulations affecting vehicle charging.

    Utility Rate Design

    Proposed or approved changes to investor-owned utility rate design for electric vehicles, including new electric vehicle tariffs and significant changes to existing electric vehicle tariffs.

    Market Development

    New state policy proposals or changes to existing policies aimed at growing the electric vehicle market.

    Financial Incentives

    New state or investor-owned utility incentive programs or changes to existing incentive programs for electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.

    State and Utility Deployment

    Utility-initiated requests, as well as proposed legislation, to deploy electric vehicles or charging infrastructure.

    Actions Excluded

    While actions taken by municipal utilities and electric cooperatives are not comprehensively tracked in this report, particularly noteworthy or high-impact actions are included. The report also excludes actions related to grid modernization without an explicit electric vehicle component, as well as actions related to general time-varying rates not specific to vehicle charging; these types of actions are tracked in the 50 States of Grid Modernization report series.


    In 2019, 49 states plus DC took a total of 601 policy and deployment actions related to electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. Table 1 provides a summary of state and utility actions on these topics. Of the 601 actions cataloged, the most common were related to regulation (154), followed by financial incentives (141), and market development (118).


    Ten states taking the greatest number of actions related to electric vehicles, or some of the most impactful actions, are noted below.

    California…Minnesota…Maryland…Oregon…Vermont…Arizona…Colorado… Michigan…New Jersey…District of Columbia…


    States Requiring Utilities to Develop Transportation Electrification Plans

    Policymakers and regulators in several states directed utilities to develop comprehensive transportation electrification plans during 2019. Lawmakers in New Mexico and Washington passed bills related to transportation electrification plans during the year. Oregon regulators established guidelines for utility transportation plans, and Minnesota regulators directed utilities to file plans before July 2019. The Arizona Corporation Commission required utilities to file a statewide transportation electrification plan by the end of 2019.

    State Legislators Adopting Additional Registration Fees for Electric Vehicles

    Legislators in ten states – Alabama, Arkansas, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, North Dakota, Ohio, Washington, and Wyoming – approved additional registration fees for electric vehicles in 2019. These fees are typically adopted in order to make up for reduced gasoline tax revenues associated with increased use of electric and hybrid vehicles. Twenty-eight states currently have additional registration fees for electric vehicles, which range from $50 to $225.

    State Regulators Considering Utility Ownership of Charging Infrastructure

    Utility regulators across the country are considering whether utilities should be permitted to own and operate electric vehicle charging infrastructure. DC regulators issued a decision allowing Pepco to own make-ready equipment only, while the Maryland Public Service Commission regulators authorized utilities to own a limited number of charging stations to jumpstart the development of a public charging network.

    States Exempting Charging Stations from Utility Regulation

    In 2019, nine states – Arizona, Delaware, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Vermont – clarified that electric vehicle charging stations are not subject to utility regulation and may resell electricity to the public. Iowa regulators also specified that charging stations powered by behind-the-meter generation are covered by this exception, and Michigan regulators removed the prohibition of sales of electricity for resale from DTE Electric’s Charging Forward tariff.

    Lawmakers Adopting Zero-Emission Vehicle Procurement Targets for State Fleets

    A number of states considered legislation adopting zero-emission vehicle or electric vehicle procurement targets for state fleets during 2019. Connecticut lawmakers adopted a requirement that 50% of light-duty state vehicles be zero-emission vehicles by 2030, while Oregon legislators enacted a bill requiring 25% of state agency light-duty vehicle purchases and leases to be zero-emission vehicles. Legislators in Vermont and Maryland also adopted electric vehicle and zero-emission school bus procurement targets, respectively.

    Utilities Developing Rate Designs to Promote DC Fast Charging

    Utilities continued to develop new rate structures to encourage fast charging station development by mitigating the impact of demand charges. Maryland utilities proposed distribution demand charge credits for fast charging stations, and Michigan regulators approved a five-year demand charge holiday for DTE Electric. New York regulators approved an incentive for fast charging stations that is intended to offset the impact of demand charges.

    Utilities Proposing Individual Programs to Address Different Market Segments

    Utilities are frequently filing proposals for multiple electric vehicle programs, with each targeting a specific market segment, such as residential charging, workplace charging, multi-family buildings, fleets, public charging, fast charging, and buses. States considering such targeted proposals during 2019 include California, DC, Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oregon, and South Carolina, among others.

    Growing Interest in Subscription Pricing Pilots for Electric Vehicle Charging

    States and utilities showed growing interest in subscription rates for electric vehicle charging in 2019. Minnesota regulators approved a subscription rate pilot for Xcel Energy during the year, which will provide unlimited off-peak charging to participating residential customers for a fixed monthly fee. California regulators also approved a subscription rate for Pacific Gas & Electric including a fixed charge and time-of-use energy rates for commercial charging.

    Utilities Working to Accelerate Transit and School Bus Electrification Many utilities proposed programs aimed at transit and school bus electrification during 2019. Duke Energy proposed electric bus programs in Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, and South Carolina, while Dominion Virginia Energy announced plans to deploy electric school buses. Regulators also considered electric bus programs proposed by utilities in California, DC, Michigan, and New York.

    States and Utilities Adopting New Incentives for Electric Vehicles and Charging Equipment

    State policymakers and utilities established several new incentive programs for electric vehicles and charging equipment during 2019. At the state level, significant new incentives were adopted in Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont, while regulators also approved new utility incentives in California, Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, New York, and Oregon.

    IN COMPARISON: 2018 VS. 2019

    Total electric vehicle action increased by 42% over the past year and 165% over the past two years, with states and utilities taking approximately 227 actions in 2017, 424 actions in 2018, and 601 actions in 2019. In 2019, activity increased in every category tracked by this report by the following amounts compared to 2018: Studies & Investigations: 28%, Regulation: 51%, Rate Design: 4%, Market Development: 51%, Incentives: 58%, and Deployment: 31%. The number of states taking actions in each electric vehicle category also increased from 2018 to 2019.


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