NewEnergyNews: The Electric Vehicle Debate Gets Bigger And Deeper


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    Monday, December 07, 2020

    The Electric Vehicle Debate Gets Bigger And Deeper

    The 50 States of Electric Vehicles: Q3 2020

    November 2020 (North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center [NCCETC])

    Executive Summary

    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 support 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 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.


    In Q3 2020, 46 states plus DC took a total of 305 actions related to electric vehicles. Table 1 provides a summary of state and utility actions occurring during Q3 2020. Of the 305 actions catalogued, the most common were related to Financial Incentives (74), followed by Market Development (65), and Regulation (47).


    Five of the quarter’s most notable electric vehicle actions are noted below.

    California Governor Establishes Zero-Emission Vehicle Sales Goals

    The Governor of California signed an executive order in September 2020 establishing a series of goals for the adoption of zero-emission vehicles in the state. The order sets a goal for 100% of in-state sales of new passenger cars and trucks to be zero-emission by 2035. By 2045, 100% of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles are to be zero-emission. Several agencies are to develop a zero-emission vehicle market development strategy to achieve the goals.

    New York Public Service Commission Approves Make-Ready Initiative

    In July 2020, the New York Public Service Commission approved the Electric Vehicle MakeReady Initiative. Under the new program, utilities will provide incentives for make-ready infrastructure for Level 2 and DC fast charging stations. The program has a total budget of $701 million, with $206 million reserved for low-income access. Incentive amounts are structured as a percentage of costs.

    New Hampshire Regulators Issue Order on Electric Vehicle Rate Design

    New Hampshire regulators issued an order in August 2020 regarding electric vehicle rate design standards. The Public Utility Commission’s order includes numerous findings, including which types of rate designs may or may not be appropriate for electric vehicle charging. The order also initiates a new proceeding to consider utility-specific electric vehicle time-of-use rate proposals.

    Regulators Approve Over $400 Million in Charging Infrastructure Investments for Southern California Edison

    The California Public Utilities Commission issued a decision in July 2020, approving Southern California Edison’s Charge Ready 2 Program. The order approved a reduced budget of $417.5 million for charging infrastructure and $14.5 million for marketing, education, and outreach. The program includes a mix of direct charging infrastructure deployment and incentives, with portions of the program reserved for multi-unit dwellings and disadvantaged communities.

    Utilities in Connecticut and New Mexico File Electric Vehicle Plans

    Eversource and United Illuminating in Connecticut, as well as Xcel Energy in New Mexico, filed major electric vehicle plans during Q3 2020. Eversource’s plan includes several charging station rebate programs, with the utility installing make-ready infrastructure. United Illuminating’s plan includes a managed charging program, and Xcel Energy’s plan includes incentives for Level 2 chargers and direct deployment of DC fast chargers.


    Utilities Commit to Electrify Their Own Vehicle Fleets A major trend emerging in Q3 2020 is that of utilities announcing commitments to electrify their own vehicle fleets. Xcel Energy announced a plan to electrify its fleet sedans by 2023, all of its light-duty vehicles by 2030, and 30% of its medium- and heavy-duty vehicles by 2030. Duke Energy pledged to convert 100% of its light-duty vehicles to electric by 2030 and 50% of its medium-duty, heavy-duty, and off-road vehicles to electric vehicles, hybrids, or other zerocarbon alternative by 2030. First Energy plans to have all aerial and light-duty trucks be electric or hybrid vehicles by 2031, with 30% electrification of these vehicles by 2030 and 100% electrification of these vehicles by 2050. Other utilities announcing commitments to electrify their fleets include Alliant Energy (100% light-duty fleet vehicles by 2030), the HECO Companies (100% electric passenger cars, SUVs, light pickups, and minivans by 2035), Southern Company (50% electric auto, SUV, minivan, forklift, ATV, and miscellaneous vehicles by 2030), Commonwealth Edison (100% electric fleet by 2030), and PNM (50% electric lightduty vehicles by 2030).

    Utilities Proposing a Variety of Managed Charging Programs

    Utilities are increasingly including different types of managed charging programs in their transportation electrification plans. United Illuminating filed a plan with Connecticut regulators including a passive and active managed charging program that provides incentives for enrolling in the utility’s time-of-use rate and for sharing charging data, as well as incentives for networked chargers and active charging management. In New Mexico, Xcel Energy filed a plan including a program that would provide annual rebates to customers for participating in managed charging. In Virginia, regulators approved a new demand response program for Dominion Energy, where residential electric vehicle owners can receive an incentive for allowing the utility to control the charger during times of peak system demand.

    State Regulators and Utilities Prioritizing Investment in Low-Income Communities

    States and utilities are prioritizing charging infrastructure investment in low-income communities in a number of ways. In California, regulators approved Southern California Edison’s Charge Ready 2 Program, while also requiring certain percentages of installations to target disadvantaged communities. Eversource filed an electric vehicle plan with Connecticut regulators that includes charging station rebates for multi-unit dwellings, with the utility covering 100% of the cost for low-income groups. Tampa Electric proposed a program in Florida that would fully fund DC fast charging stations for income-qualified hosts, and in New Mexico, Xcel Energy’s proposed transportation electrification plan includes an enhanced lowincome charging rebate. In Oregon, Portland General Electric has proposed new rebate programs with increased rebate amounts for income-qualified customers.


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