NewEnergyNews: Monday Study: The Fight For EVs In 2020


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    Monday, March 29, 2021

    Monday Study: The Fight For EVs In 2020

    The 50 States of Electric Vehicles: 2020 Review and Q4 2020

    Autumn Proudlove, Brian Lips, David Sarkisian, February 2021 (North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center [NCCETC])

    Executive Summary


    In 2020, 50 states plus DC took a total of 598 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 598 actions identified, the most common were related to financial incentives (150), followed by regulation (124) and market development (114).


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

    New Jersey

    New Jersey lawmakers enacted major legislation early in 2020, adopting a requirement for 85% of light-duty vehicles sold or leased in the state to be plug-in electric vehicles by December 31, 2040. The legislation also included requirements for charging station deployment, state electric vehicle procurement, and new incentive programs for electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. State regulators also approved a shared responsibility model to advance electric vehicle adoption.


    The Governor of California signed an executive order setting a goal for 100% of in-state sales of new passenger cars and trucks to be zero-emission by 2035, as well as a goal for 100% of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles to be zero-emission by 2045. The California Public Utilities Commission considered a draft transportation electrification framework, vehicle-to-grid integration, and electric vehicle sub-metering protocols, as well as utility incentive, rate design, and deployment proposals.

    New York

    The New York Public Service Commission established an electric vehicle make-ready initiative in 2020, which requires utilities to provide incentives for Level 2 and DC fast charging makeready infrastructure. Later in the year, utilities filed proposals for residential managed charging programs, as required by the Commission. Regulators also considered electric vehicle programs proposed by New York State Electric & Gas and Rochester Gas & Electric.


    Utilities filed their 2020 electric vehicle tariff reports and transportation electrification plans, while the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission considered many individual electric vehicle programs proposed by utilities to address particular customer segments and pilot new strategies. These programs include residential and DC fast charging rate designs, new incentive programs, and utility deployment of charging infrastructure.


    Colorado’s major utilities, Xcel Energy and Black Hills Energy, filed their transportation electrification plans in 2020, including an array of programs targeting different customer segments with incentives, direct deployment, and rates. The Colorado State Energy Office also released its 2020 electric vehicle plan, and state lawmakers enacted legislation requiring new home builders to offer charging stations or pre-wiring for charging equipment.


    The Wisconsin Public Service Commission issued an order in its investigation into electric vehicle policy and regulation, encouraging utilities to file electric vehicle pilot programs. Regulators also considered programs proposed by Xcel Energy, Wisconsin Electric Power Company, and Wisconsin Public Service including new charging rates and programs leasing utility-owned charging equipment.


    The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority continued to consider zero-emission vehicles during 2020, with both Eversource and United Illuminating filing comprehensive zero-emission vehicle program proposals including a variety of incentives, as well as managed charging programs. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection also released an electric vehicle roadmap for the state, which includes numerous policy recommendations to accelerate electric vehicle adoption.

    New Mexico

    During 2020, Xcel Energy, PNM, and El Paso Electric filed expansive transportation electrification plans, including a variety of incentives, new rate designs, and direct utility deployment. The plans include numerous programs addressing different customer segments, as well as additional incentives for low-income customers. El Paso Electric’s plan also includes an electrification grid impact study.


    In Oregon, PacifiCorp filed its transportation electrification plan, describing plans for future rate structures and incentive programs. Regulators approved new charging incentive programs proposed by Portland General Electric, as well as modifications to line extension allowance policies. The Governor signed an executive order establishing greenhouse gas reduction goals and requiring a transportation electrification needs analysis to be conducted.


    In 2020, Hawaii lawmakers considered numerous bills related to electric vehicle incentives, dedicated electric vehicle charging-enabled parking, and state procurement of electric vehicles, although these bills did not ultimately pass. The Public Utilities Commission is considering electric vehicle rate design in its distributed energy resources proceeding, while the HECO utilities proposed new pilot rates, and electric bus program, and a make-ready infrastructure program.


    Utilities Filing Expansive Transportation Electrification Plans

    A growing number of utilities are filing transportation electrification plans, including an array of programs to promote the development of charging infrastructure for different market segments and encourage vehicle charging during off-peak hours. Utilities in a number of states, including Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, and Oregon filed transportation electrification plans during 2020.

    Growing Use of the Make-Ready Infrastructure Model

    States and utilities are increasingly utilizing the make-ready model for charging infrastructure deployment, with utilities supplying wiring and supporting infrastructure, and private companies supplying charging stations. Oftentimes, utilities will offer rebates for the charging stations as well. New Jersey and New York regulators issued decisions moving forward with this model, while utilities in Connecticut, Hawaii, and Michigan have proposed make-ready programs.

    State Policymakers Adopting Bold Electric Vehicle Targets

    State policymakers are beginning to adopt ambitious targets for electric vehicle or zeroemission vehicle adoption in the overall market – not just state fleet vehicles. The Governor of California signed an executive order establishing a goal for 100% of in-state sales of new passenger cars and trucks to be zero-emission by 2035. In New Jersey, lawmakers set a goal for 85% of all light-duty vehicles sold or leased in the state to be plug-in electric vehicles by the end of 2040.

    Utilities Proposing Passive and Active Managed Charging Programs

    A number of utilities are proposing managed charging programs as growing emphasis is put on off-peak charging and avoiding grid impacts. In New York, utilities filed a variety of managed charging programs for residential customers, and in Connecticut, United Illuminating proposed a passive and active managed charging pilot with three levels of participation, ranging from time-of-use rate enrollment and survey completion to active charging management by the utility.

    Utilities Committing to Electrify Their Own Fleets

    Many utilities announced commitments to electrify all or a portion of their own fleets during 2020, and Michigan regulators directed Consumers Energy to file a proposal in its next rate case. Utilities making fleet electrification announcements include Xcel Energy, Duke Energy, First Energy, Alliant Energy, HECO, Southern Company, Commonwealth Edison, PNM, and NorthWestern Energy.

    Encouraging Charging Infrastructure Development at Multi-Family Buildings

    States and utilities are paying greater attention to deploying charging infrastructure at multifamily buildings – a segment that poses some unique challenges. In 2020, New Jersey legislators enacted a bill requiring 30% of all multi-family properties to be equipped with charging infrastructure by the end of 2030. California regulators also considered a pilot proposed by San Diego Gas & Electric designed to deploy charging infrastructure at multi-unit dwellings.

    Utilities Developing Off-Peak Charging Bill Credit Programs

    Many utilities are proposing programs providing bill credits to customers for electric vehicle charging done during off-peak hours. Minnesota Power requested approval for an off-peak charging rewards pilot, and El Paso Electric included an electric vehicle charging incentive credit program in its New Mexico transportation electrification plan. In Maryland, Exelon proposed a new off-peak charging credit program as well.

    States and Utilities Offering Additional Incentives for Low-Income Customers

    Several of the electric vehicle and charging station incentive programs under consideration include additional incentives for low-income customers in order to make electric vehicle adoption more feasible. In New Mexico, transportation electrification plans filed by Xcel Energy, PNM, and El Paso Electric all include additional charging station incentives specifically for low-income customers. Black Hills Energy and Eversource have also proposed programs including additional incentives for low-income customers.

    States Preparing Electric Vehicle Roadmaps and Infrastructure Plans

    States continue to develop electric vehicle roadmaps including deployment goals and policy recommendations to achieve them. Some states are also undertaking studies to examine charging infrastructure needs and optimal siting. In 2020, electric vehicle roadmaps were released in Colorado, Connecticut, and Florida, while infrastructure needs analyses were underway in Ohio, Oregon, and Utah.

    Utilities Filing Residential Charger Leasing Pilot Proposals

    Although most utilities are proposing incentives for residential charging stations, rather than direct deployment, a growing contingent of utilities are requesting approval for pilot programs in which the utility will effectively lease chargers to residential customers. Xcel Energy proposed such pilot programs in Colorado, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Additional utilities in Missouri and Wisconsin have filed proposals for similar programs.

    IN COMPARISON: 2019 VS. 2020

    Total electric vehicle action held steady in 2020, with approximately the same number of actions taken in 2019 and 2020. In 2020, activity increased in the Rate Design, Financial Incentives and Deployment categories, while decreasing in Studies and Investigations, Regulation, and Market Development. The number of states taking actions increased in Rate Design and Deployment as well, while declining slightly in each of the other categories. State lawmakers enacted at least 35 bills related to electric vehicles during 2020.


    In Q4 2020, 43 states plus DC took a total of 270 legislative and regulatory actions related to electric vehicles. Table 2 provides a summary of state and utility actions occurring during Q4 2020. Of the 270 actions catalogued, the most common were related to Financial Incentives (64), followed by Market Development (53), and Rate Design (44).


    North and South Carolina Regulators Approve Duke Energy Electric Vehicle Programs…California Public Service Commission Adopts Vehicle-to-Grid Integration Strategies…El Paso Electric and PNM File Transportation Electrification Plans in New Mexico…New York Utilities File Residential Managed Charging Proposals…Michigan Regulators Approve Consumers Energy PowerMIFleet Program…


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