12.17.2020
Utility investment in education and outreach is necessary for widespread transportation electrification

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 17, 2020

Contact:
Noah Barnes, Plug In America, nbarnes@pluginamerica.org
Phil Jones, Alliance for Transportation Electrification, phil@evtransportationalliance.org

Utility investment in education and outreach is necessary for widespread transportation electrification
The Alliance for Transportation Electrification and Plug In America release whitepaper examining education and outreach

SEATTLE—Today, the Alliance for Transportation Electrification (ATE) and Plug In America jointly released the whitepaper titled The Missing Piece on Meeting Transportation Electrification Goals: Utility Education and Outreach Programs. The whitepaper, a collaborative effort from the ATE’s subcommittee on education and outreach (E&O), examines the current state of E&O in the transportation electrification (TE) sector and lays the foundation for why utility investment in E&O is the missing piece to achieving widespread TE goals in a state or region.  

The paper outlines eight key reasons for why utilities should be enabled to invest in E&O for transportation electrification programs and concludes with a summary of best practices in utility E&O for EVs, which include test ride and drives, retail experience centers, dealer partnerships and automaker partnerships, and other innovative partnerships.

“The electric vehicle ecosystem is big and complex consisting of auto OEMs, utilities, charging station providers and vendors, and NGOs and EV drivers associations,” said Phil Jones, executive director of the Alliance for Transportation Electrification. “Our success in this fundamental transformation of the auto and energy industries depends on collaboration and a team effort of many groups. Utilities regulated by Commissions are trying to do their part to increase the awareness of consumers about EVs both on specific EV programs and broadly including the types of charging infrastructure, rate design, and the comparison of electricity to conventional fuels. But there is no question that awareness of customers is still far too low, and that the utilities, working with their Commissions and their stakeholders, need to do more in E&O. This paper outlines some common-sense steps and best practices for utilities to carry out with many public and private state agencies and stakeholders.”

“Studies show that while consumers are slowly growing aware of EVs as a purchase option, there is a significant need to educate consumers on where and when to charge, including the charging rates and options at utilities, and other EV related issues,” said Joel Levin, executive director of Plug In America. “Just as utilities educated their customers on energy efficiency technologies, like lightbulbs, there is a need for utilities to also educate on EVs. If states want to achieve their EV goals, greater investment on E&O from utilities is needed.”

The paper can be accessed here.

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About the Alliance for Transportation Electrification
The Alliance for Transportation Electrification (ATE), a 501(c)(6) non-profit corporation, is led by utilities, electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure firms and service providers, automobile manufacturers, and EV charging industry stakeholders and affiliated trade associations. We started with 20 organizations at the launch in early 2018. By taking a “big tent” approach to advance the industry, we have grown rapidly to include about 50 national dues-paying members and affiliated organizations. We are actively involved in over twenty regulatory and other state and Provincial proceedings in North America today. evtransportationalliance.org

About Plug In America
Plug In America is the nation’s leading independent consumer voice for accelerating the use of plug-in electric vehicles in the United States. Formed as a non-profit in 2008, Plug In America provides practical, objective information collected from our coalition of plug-in vehicle drivers, through public outreach and education, policy work and a range of technical advisory services. Our expertise represents the world’s deepest pool of experience of driving and living with plug-in vehicles. We drive electric. You can too. PlugInAmerica.org