Electric Vehicles

Platte River Power Authority launches EV charging study

Colorado-based Platte River Power Authority is seeking electric vehicle owners to participate in a distributed charging study to evaluate vehicle electric energy consumption patterns and test smart charging technology and is offering a rebate to the study participants.

Platte River on Feb. 26 said that the study is the first of its kind in Colorado and will offer participants with the opportunity to schedule charging activity around the most cost-effective times of use. The data collected will provide Platte River with a better understanding of the energy consumption behaviors “which can help inform resource planning efforts as the organization works toward achieving a 100 percent non-carbon resource mix by 2030.” 

Platte River Power Authority is a not-for-profit wholesale electricity generation and transmission provider that delivers energy and services to its owner communities of Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont and Loveland, Colo., for delivery to their utility customers.

Platte River noted that the study will be conducted in collaboration with eMotorWerks, developer of JuiceNet platform-enabled charging stations that allow participants to proactively manage their charging while providing valuable data to Platte River. 

To encourage participation, Platte River is offering a $200 rebate on the charging stations purchased through the Efficiency Works Store. The store allows utility customers in in Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont and Loveland to shop online for energy and water-saving products and claim any available product rebates during the electronic checkout process.

An additional $154 instant manufacturer’s rebate will be provided to the first 100 people to purchase the JuiceBox Pro 40 plug-in charging station.

To participate, consumers must be an EV owner and customer of Estes Park Light & Power, Fort Collins Utilities, Longmont Power & Communications or Loveland Water and Power, agree to rebate terms and conditions and purchase one of four smart level 2 charging stations from the Efficiency Works Store, among other things.

Of the light-duty vehicles registered in Platte River’s service territory, 0.4 percent are EVs, nearly twice the Colorado state average, according to the 2018 City of Fort Collins’ EV Readiness Roadmap. Due to the elevated rate of EV use, Platte River expects to engage up to 300 participants in the study.

To receive the rebate or rebates, customers must enter their address and utility account number on the Efficiency Works Store for location validation and accept the terms and conditions of the study.

Once the station is delivered and installed, study participants can schedule and manage their EV charging as desired. 

Other public power utilities pursuing charging studies

Other public power utilities have also launched EV charging studies.

In 2018, Nebraska public power utility Lincoln Electric System began a campaign to recruit electric vehicle drivers in a study that the utility plans to use to better understand the impact electric vehicle charging will have on its system’s demand.

A recent report issued by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center said that utilities collecting data on electric vehicle charging patterns was among the top EV trends of 2018.

In September 2018, TVA said that it was partnering with Nashville Electric Service and Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation on a two-year program called Smart Charge Nashville.

At the time, TVA noted that the Smart Charge Nashville program will follow 200 local volunteer electric vehicle drivers in the greater Nashville area by using a data logger plugged into the vehicle. “The data collected, which is also available to the participants of the program, will provide insight into the charging patterns of EV drivers and what might need to be done in the future to accommodate more and more EV drivers hitting the road.”

In Arizona, public power utility Salt River Project in early 2018 said that an initial analysis of a study being conducted by SRP and the Electric Power Research Institute found that time-of-use price plans have been effective at incentivizing electric vehicle owners to charge later than they normally would.