The idea here would be to get a head start on the emerging market penetration of electric vehicles (EVs) and enact legislation that opens a regulatory proceeding covering electric utility related EV issues. At a minimum, the legislation should require utilities to develop a coordinated infrastructure plan for EVs. Issues included would be: ensuring interoperability of EV equipment, requirements for infrastructure, cost recovery, smart grid integration, time-of-use (TOU) pricing, other rate and billing issues.
The plan should include discussions on deployment of electrical charging stations in public or private locations, including, but not limited to, street parking, parking garages, parking lots, single and multi-family homes, gas stations, and highway rest stops. The proceeding should also bring to light a clear picture of what power plants will be operating during the likeliest charging periods for EVs. The example language below was derived in part from language in the federal Waxman-Markey climate bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives in 2009 (H.R. 2454: American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009). Here is a sketch of what a bill might cover:
EV Infrastructure Planning Legislation – Key Aspects
(A) UTILITY PLAN FOR INFRASTRUCTURE.
Each electric utility shall develop a plan to support the use of plug-in electric drive vehicles, including heavy-duty hybrid electric vehicles. The plan will provide for deployment of electrical charging stations in public or private locations, including street parking, parking garages, parking lots, homes, gas stations, and highway rest stops. Any such plan shall also include discussions on—
(i) battery exchange, fast charging infrastructure and other services;
(ii) triggers for infrastructure deployment based upon market penetration of plug-in electric drive vehicles; and
(iii) such other elements as the State determines necessary to support plug-in electric drive vehicles.
Each plan under this paragraph shall provide for the deployment of the charging infrastructure or other infrastructure necessary to adequately support the use of plug-in electric drive vehicles.
(B) SUPPORT REQUIREMENTS.
Each State regulatory authority (in the case of each electric utility for which it has ratemaking authority) and each utility (in the case of a nonregulated utility) shall—
(i) require that charging infrastructure deployed is interoperable with products of all auto manufacturers to the extent possible; and
(ii) consider adopting minimum requirements for deployment of electrical charging infrastructure and other appropriate requirements necessary to support the use of plug-in electric drive vehicles.
(C) COST RECOVERY.
Each State regulatory authority (in the case of each electric utility for which it has ratemaking authority) and each utility (in the case of a nonregulated utility) shall consider whether, and to what extent, to allow cost recovery for plans and implementation of plans.
(D) SMART GRID INTEGRATION.
The State regulatory authority (in the case of each electric utility for which it has ratemaking authority) and each utility (in the case of a nonregulated utility) shall, in accordance with regulations issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission pursuant to section 1305(d) of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007—
(i) establish any appropriate protocols and standards for integrating plug-in electric drive vehicles into an electrical distribution system, including Smart Grid systems and devices as described in title XIII of the federal Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007;
(ii) include, to the extent feasible, the ability for each plug-in electric drive vehicle to be identified individually and to be associated with its owner’s electric utility account, regardless of the location that the vehicle is plugged in, for purposes of appropriate billing for any electricity required to charge the vehicle’s batteries as well as any crediting for electricity provided to the electric utility from the vehicle’s batteries; and
(iii) review the determination made in response to section 1252 of the federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 in light of this section, including whether time-of-use pricing should be employed to enable the use of plug-in electric drive vehicles to contribute to meeting peak-load and ancillary service power needs.
(E) OFF-PEAK POWER PLANT AND EMISSIONS ANALYSIS
The state regulatory authority shall examine and present findings about the types of power plants, emissions characteristics and seasonal variability of electricity being sent to the grid during periods that might be used for EV charging.