ORIGINAL REPORTING: New EV Charging Technologies Target Affordability, Convenience
Three Emerging Technologies Shape Cutting Edge EV Charging Pilot
Herman K. Trabish, March 7, 2022 (California Current)
A Duke Energy pilot would use three cutting-edge electric vehicle technologies, a flat subscription rate, in-vehicle communications, and some utility management of charging during demand peaks, to enable the utility to maximize customer savings and minimize system impacts “without burdening drivers,” said Smart Electric Power Alliance Senior Director for Electrification Garrett Fitzgerald.
The little-tested residential subscription rate in Duke Energy’s pilot will allow EV owners an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 miles of driving per month at a fixed rate as low as $19.99 per month. Subscription rates have been studied by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, and Pacific Gas & Electric ran a trial with some of its business customers. This new pilot will likely provide important lessons about residential customer applications in California and other states, advocates told Current.
“The volatile average $170 monthly gasoline bill becomes a steady $19.99, which simplifies pricing for EV owners,” Duke Energy Vice President of Rate Design and Strategic Solutions Lon Huber told Current. Managed charging shifts price signal complexities to the utility and allows the optimization of customers’ individual preset charging preferences with utility needs to manage demand spikes, he added.
The utility’s active management of charging will demonstrate transportation electrification can offer system benefits. It will be done by the utility through EV telematics, the wireless technology that connects the vehicle to GPS and other network information, allowing charging to be managed without the need for a home charger or separate meter.
Managed charging offers “a massive opportunity for utilities to influence customer charging habits” and “maximize benefits to the power sector without compromising driver convenience,” SEPA’s Fitzgerald said. Managed charging and vehicle telematics-based programs are key parts of the transportation electrification future, he added.
Duke’s pilot will monitor the costs and benefits of managing EV charging through a flat rate. But the risk and reward of that management are transferred to the utility because the participants’ costs are fixed and any gaps in cost to serve will be absorbed by Duke. Ford, BMW, Honda, and GM support the program and, if North Carolina regulators approve, they will share its total $600,000 cost, according to Duke’s proposal to regulators. If done well, using vehicle telematics “will allow anyone to plug in anywhere, and pay for the charging on their own electric bill, with their own preferences,” such as charging times, rate design authority consultant Jim Lazar told Current… click here for more