The environmental benefits of electric vehicles (EVs) are widely recognized. EVs are seen as a crucial mechanism to reduce North America’s dependence on fossil fuels and increase energy security. The large-scale displacement of internal combustion vehicles by EVs would result in sizable public health benefits achieved through improved air quality and reduced noise. Widespread adoption of EVs also represents a source of opportunity for energy utilities. In a period of rapidly evolving energy systems (increasing amounts of distributed generation, integration of renewables, demand-side resources, and advanced metering infrastructure), it is important to ensure that EVs are part of the discussion. Among the clear benefits for utilities are additional revenue for utilities, load management and smoothing net load for cost reduction, improved system reliability, and new business opportunities for utilities and others. In addition, displacement of internal combustion vehicles with EVs would result in sizable public health benefits achieved through improved air quality and reduced noise. Proper valuation of the public health factors mentioned previously may also allow them to be incorporated into utility cost-benefit analyses and rate development, and potentially make EVs and/or EV supply equipment (EVSE) eligible for inclusion in utility efficiency programs. Through such mechanisms, ratepayer funds could be used to incentivize EVs and EVSE. Through these considerations, along with the proper rate designs, supporting infrastructure such as charging stations, and support for the development of storage and other new technologies, utilities can help drive the large-scale adoption of EVs — and benefit from it.
In the Driver’s Seat: How Utilities and Consumers Can Benefit from the Shift to Electric Vehicles
April 23, 2015
- Vermont Energy Investment Corporation ,
- Regulatory Assistance Project