Electric Vehicles Policies:
Charging Stations, Grid Integration, and Rates 

 

Background

In November 2013, the CPUC opened a new Rulemaking to support the Governor’s goals to build infrastructure to support the adoption of up to 1.5 million electric vehicles in California by 2025. The Rulemaking also included a CPUC Staff White Paper, “Vehicle-Grid Integration: A Vision for Zero-Emission Transportation Interconnected throughout California’s Electricity System” that proposed a framework to understand the regulatory barriers to the adoption of electrified transportation as grid resources.  This framework examines Vehicle-Grid Integration (VGI), or connection of electric vehicles to the electric grid. This proceeding will consider policies that are consistent with the Governor’s Zero-Emission Vehicle Action Plan to promote EV adoption: 

  • Evaluate the ability of VGI to allow customers to store energy in EV batteries (energy storage) and use the stored electricity to avoid using electricity from the grid (Demand Response). 
  • Develop EV rates for customers in each utility service territory.  
  • Explore how financing opportunities can reduce EV costs, accelerate EV adoption, and increase EV charger deployment.  

On December 18th, 2014, the CPUC issued a Decision stating that it would consider utility ownership of EV infrastructure on a case-by-case basis. Each of California’s largest electric utilities – Edison, PG&E, and SDG&E - have filed applications with the CPUC to undertake pilots to deploy EV infrastructure and charging stations with varying approaches.  
 

ORA Position

ORA supports the California’s goals to mitigate Greenhouse Gas emissions by increasing the adoption of Electric Vehicles. EV strategies should achieve this goal in the most effective and cost-efficient manner, to ensure accountability for customer funding. Accordingly, ORA supports well-designed pilot programs that collect necessary data to inform and incent EV adoption to meet the Governor’s goal to place 1.5 million electric vehicles on the road by 2025.

ORA supports the CPUC’s December 2014 Decision to:
 

  • Evaluate utilities’ requests to own EV infrastructure on a case-by-case basis to determine if it results in anti-competitive impacts on the EV service provider market. 
  • Measure anti-competitive impacts by balancing the benefits of utility EV infrastructure ownership against reducing competition in the EV service provider market.   
  • Eliminate the requirement that utilities’ own EV infrastructure in areas where there is an EV market need that cannot be served by EV service providers. 

Because the CPUC’s decision did not define the “balancing test” that would purportedly weigh the benefits of facilitating EV adoption with impacts on completion, ORA recommends that this Rulemaking address the following issues going forward, in order to guide the utilities’ EV infrastructure plans: 

  • Require data gathering and analysis to inform the EV infrastructure needed to meet the Governor’s goal to place 1.5 million ZEVs on CA roads by 2025. 
  • Expand customer awareness of the availability of EV infrastructure through education, marketing, and outreach. 
  • Protect ratepayer interests and avoid stranded assets through proper design of EV pilot size, duration, and scope that is designed to ramp-down ratepayer investment as the market evolves, in order to sustainably achieve the state’s goals. 
  • Encourage private sector investment that can reduce ratepayer financial burden without discouraging other modes of transportation. 

As the CPUC considers EV infrastructure ownership within the utilities’ respective pilot proceedings, it should require: 

  • The utilities to work with a coalition of EV market stakeholders to design EV pilot plans based upon EV driver needs and an assessment of EVcost and access barriers.   
  • EV pilot plans to be designed to include metrics that can be utilized to analyze EV utilization, cost-effectiveness, and their role in EV adoption.  

See ORA’s March 16, 2015 EV Framework Proposal in Chapter 6 of its Testimony. 

See ORA’s September 12, 2014 Reply Comments.  

 

Proceeding Docket

See the Proceeding docket. 

 

Other Resources

ORA White Paper: Electric Vehicles: A Ratepayer Perspective   

ORA Report: Revenue Allocation and Rate Design: Facilitating Plug-in Electric Vehicle Integration