While some electric utilities in California have been prepping for years to support and expand the electric vehicle market, many are just getting started. As the nation’s leading independent consumer voice for accelerating the use of these clean vehicles, Plug In America supports the involvement of utilities in the Plug-in vehicle (PEV) sector. Our most recent report, Evaluating Methods to Encourage Plug-in Electric Vehicle Adoption: A review of reports on PEV incentive effectiveness for California Utilities (PDF), reviews existing literature and studies which may help utilities identify opportunities and tackle barriers.
“Consumers love their plug-in vehicles. These clean cars and utilities are a perfect match. Utilities should do everything they can to encourage the adoption of these vehicles for the benefit of the ratepayer and utility grid, not to mention the environment,” commented Joel Levin, Executive Director of Plug In America.
To help utilities decide which programs for PEV promotion work best, the team took a look at the effectiveness of multiple methods. The most effective methods include:
- Raising awareness by mention in newsletters, social media, and bill inserts;
- Hosting events that offer test drives or rides in PEVs;
- Installing and operating charging stations, focused on apartments, workplaces, metro areas and PEV corridors; and
- Offering a financial incentive, such as a discounted group buy.
“Even utilities that aren’t yet ready for PEVs, need to monitor and plan for PEV growth,” said Levin. “Utilities should look to strategically install a variety of charging infrastructure and implement specific PEV rates and load control programs, in addition to a host of other support programs.” Currently more than 520,000 PEVs have been sold nationwide, with sales expected to accelerate as more vehicle models become available.
“Plug In America looks forward to working with utilities to get more of these cars on the road,” Levin said.