Electric Vehicles

Infrastructure, rates among top 2017 EV policy trends: report

Electric vehicle infrastructure and rate design actions were among the top EV policy trends of 2017, a new report from the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center said.

The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center launched its new report series, “The 50 States of Electric Vehicles,” with a special 2017 review issue.

The new series, which will take the form of quarterly reports beginning with the first quarter of 2018, provides insights on state regulatory and legislative discussions and actions on electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, the center noted in releasing the report on Feb. 7.

The report includes a section of top EV policy trends for 2017, several of which fell into the infrastructure category.

For example, policymakers and regulators addressed barriers to charging infrastructure development. Many state legislatures and regulatory commissions are working to address existing barriers to charging infrastructure development, the report noted. Some legislatures considered bills to prohibit homeowner associations from restricting charging installations, while other legislatures and commissions addressed rules relating to public utility regulation and the resale of electricity.

The report also said that funding for EV charging infrastructure is moving beyond support for Level 2 charging, with several states and utilities considering new funding for DC fast charging. Efforts to fund medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles are also underway, as broader electrification of the transportation sector is considered.

The report said that states and utilities took a total of 53 actions related to EVs and charging infrastructure during 2017. “While a small number of these actions aimed to reduce or shorten existing incentive programs, the majority of these actions would create new financial incentives, or extend or expand the eligibility requirements for existing incentive programs,” the center said.

Charging rates

Another policy trend seen in 2017 involved utilities proposing dedicated EV charging rates. “Increasing attention is being paid to rate design for electric vehicle charging, with utilities working to encourage electric vehicle owners to charge their vehicles during periods of low system peak demand, while avoiding charging during periods of peak demand,” the report said.

Several utilities proposed new charging tariffs or the extension of pilot tariffs last year, while some states are directing utilities to develop tariffs for EV charging, according to the report.

Details on 2017 actions in states, D.C.

The report said that in 2017, 43 states plus the District of Columbia took a total of 227 legislative and regulatory actions related to electric vehicles. 

Of the 227 actions catalogued, the most common were related to regulation (70), followed by financial incentives (53) and market development (36).

The report said that:

  • 34 states considered or adopted changes to the regulation of electric vehicles, including registration fees, electricity resale rules and siting of charging infrastructure.
  • 20 states plus D.C. took action to study or investigate some aspect of electric vehicles.
  • 19 states plus D.C. considered or approved new financial incentive programs, or changes to existing incentive programs for electric vehicles or electric vehicle supply equipment.
  • Utilities or legislatures in 17 states plus D.C. took action related to the deployment of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.
  • 17 states considered policy changes to encourage electric vehicle market development; and
  • Utilities or state legislatures in 13 states plus D.C. considered new utility rate tariffs for electric vehicle charging, or changes to existing tariffs.
EV table

(Table courtesy of the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center.)

Additional details are available here.

SRP involved in study examining charging habits of EV owners

In recent news involving public power and EVs, an initial analysis of a study being conducted by Arizona public power utility Salt River Project and the Electric Power Research Institute has found that time-of-use price plans have been effective at incentivizing electric vehicle owners to charge later than they normally would.

SRP said Jan. 11 it is one of the first utilities to study the charging habits of EV drivers. The Tempe, Arizona-based utility wants to know how the increase in energy consumption from EVs will affect the grid.

Association issues report on EVs

The American Public Power Association in late 2017 unveiled a new report for member utilities, A Public Power Guide to Understanding the US Plug-in Electric Vehicle Market.

The report describes the growing plug-in electric vehicle market by examining several topics including market trends and technologies and challenges to adoption.

The report is available on the Association’s Product Store and members can download the report at no cost.