Utilities Begin to Roll Out EV Charging Infrastructure Plans

In recent months, several utilities have announced major infrastructure investments to encourage development of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. The investments are designed to promote the adoption of EVs by reducing range anxiety or the concern that battery power will run out before reaching a destination.

Key Details

  • In June 2014, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) released a report noting that the transportation sector is the second largest consumer of energy in the United States behind electric power generation
  • EEI found “bringing electricity to the transportation sector is a huge, albeit long-term opportunity for load growth”
  • Recent EV charging infrastructure announcements include the following:
    • In October 2014, Georgia Power announced a $12 million pilot program to increase electric charging stations in its service territory
      • The company will install 50 EV charging islands in public places and offer incentives to customers to install EV charging infrastructure
    • In January 2015, Kansas City Power and Light announced it will spend roughly $20 million to install more than 1,000 public EV charging stations in its service territory
      • If approved, residential customers are estimated to pay an additional $1 to $2 a year to cover the expense of the program
    • In February 2015, Pacific Gas and Electric filed a proposal to spend $654 million to build 25,000 EV charging stations across its service territory
      • If approved, residential customers are estimated to pay an additional $8.40 a year to cover the expense of the program
  • Currently, most EVs have a driving capacity of approximately 100 miles on a full charge; longer ranges are expected in newer EV models

Implications

The development of a robust charging infrastructure will remove a primary barrier to EV adoption. Electric utility investment may provide critical infrastructure needed for the wider adoption of EVs. Utilities are well positioned to play a pivotal role as they can provide capital or incentives for public or private infrastructure development. In return, utilities may have an opportunity to rate-base investments and leverage EVs as a distributed energy resource during grid operations.

More Information

View More

Contributing Authors

Paul Quinlan Clean Tech Manager

Welcome to ScottMadden!

Sussex Economic Advisors is now part of ScottMadden. We invite you to learn more about our expanded firm. Please use the Contact Us form to request additional information.