The market for electric vehicles is growing quickly, and utilities can expect to play a central role in minimizing the potential grid impacts of this new load and increasing access to charging infrastructure. With that in mind, the Smart Electric Power Alliance has surveyed more than 480 utilities about their EV programs to create the industry’s first ever state-of-the-market report for EV programs.
Utilities and Electric Vehicles: Evolving to Unlock Grid Value couldn’t come at a better time, with many industry EV adoption forecasts being revised due to exponential growth. Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that electricity consumption will grow from a few terawatt-hours a year in 2017 to around 118 TWh by 2030. Many utilities may be unprepared for this sudden change in load growth. SEPA has collected information and tools in this report that can help utilities and their partners find a path forward.
The report includes:
A first-of-its-kind analytical framework for establishing the maturity of utility EV programs
Fourteen types of utility EV programs and activities categorized into early, intermediate and late stages
An overview of regulatory decisions regarding utility investments in EV charging infrastructure
Recommendations for strategic utility planning on EVs
Regulatory analysis and regional trends from over 70 EV-related regulatory dockets
A detailed analysis of the collected data revealed that 75 percent of utilities were in the earliest stages of EV program development. Time is not on the utilities’ side and they must begin now to work with peers and others in the industry to develop a robust EV strategy and identify ways to leverage EVs as a grid asset. Preparation today will equip power providers with the knowledge and technologies they need to unlock value in this new load.
You can download Utilities and Electric Vehicles: Evolving to Unlock Grid Value for free. SEPA members can gain access to the dataset by logging in to the SEPA EStore. The dataset includes the list of utilities included in the analysis, the total number of programs and activities identified by stage for each utility and the identified utility stage.
Electric vehicles potentially offer many benefits—as a distributed energy resource with the ability to modulate charge or even dispatch energy back into the grid—along with many unknowns for utilities. Use this report to introduce yourself to the promise and pitfalls of a load that could change our industry.
The survey of nearly 700 electric utilities in the U.S. and Canada indicated that their commitment to lower-carbon energy resources remains strong even as concern over market and policy uncertainty grows. Other top takeaways include:
Expectations of load growth – Since 2008, utilities have faced stagnant or declining demand for electricity, but this year, utility professionals see that trend changing.
Uncertainty, particularly in regard to federal regulation – Nearly 40 percent of utility professionals named uncertainty as their top concern about changing their power mix — almost twice the level of concern expressed about integrating distributed energy resources (DER) with utility systems.
Cybersecurity fears – For the second year running, participants placed cybersecurity at the top of their list of concerns, with about 81 percent rating it either important or very important.
Justifying emerging grid investments – Utilities see the need to invest in grid intelligence to manage electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, DER, storage, analytics and cybersecurity. However, demonstrating the return on such high-tech investments to regulators, ratepayers and even their own organizations is complicated.
Traditional cost-of-service regulation falling from favor – Utilities are ready to adapt their business models to take advantage of new technologies and market opportunities. Around 80 percent indicated they either have or want a regulatory proceeding in their state focused on reforming utility business and revenue models.
Perhaps the most positive message to be taken from the results of the 2018 survey is how many utilities are willing to rethink the traditional business model in the face of changes in the industry. The report has a laundry list of other important insights on rate design, DER ownership, the increasing popularity of EVs and more. Whether you participated in the survey this year or not, it is sure to make for interesting reading.
You can download the 86-page survey report for free, or read a rundown of the top results with graphs. Utility Dive also hosted a sneak-peak webinar on the results at the end of January, which you can listen to for free.
The future is here and resistance is futile. Public power utilities of all sizes are facing a new world shaped by technology, customer preferences and changing policies. These changes are most evident in five key areas:
The American Public Power Association wants to help power providers navigate these changes and explore the opportunities this new environment presents. Beginning Aug. 15, a five-part webinar series looks at new initiatives through the experiences of the utilities that implemented them.
APPA recommends this series for general managers, CEOs, senior utility executives, governing boards, policymakers, utility managers, future leaders in policy and strategy and public communications professionals.
Comprehensive agendas You can sign up for webinars individually or register for the full series at a discounted rate. Participants will also get access to recordings and slides of the webinars for future reference or if they miss one. All webinars are scheduled for 12-1:30 p.m. Mountain Time.
Aug. 15 – The Future of Rate Design: Distributed generation and energy-efficiency programs are creating cost-shifting concerns. Catch up on the latest industry rate trends and discover how to move toward stable rate structures that accurately recover costs from all customers. Review the pros and cons of different rate models—time of use, higher customer charge, demand charges and bi-directional billing. Learn how other utilities like yours have created long-term rate plans, selected and implemented new rate designs, and obtained buy-in from board and city council members as well as customers.
Sept. 7 – Community Solar Success Stories: Community solar is becoming an increasingly popular option for utilities that want to increase solar in their generation portfolios and offer this option to customers who cannot install rooftop solar. An industry expert will share experiences, insights and predictions for the future of community solar. Your utility colleagues who’ve launched community solar programs across the country will explain how they made decisions in key areas like program structure, implementation, financing, customer outreach, rates and marketing. They’ll discuss challenges and the secrets to success so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
Sept. 26 – Charging Ahead with Electric Vehicles: The price of electric cars is falling, and more fast-charging stations are being installed. The Brattle Group predicts that a steady conversion of vehicles and heating to electricity could possibly lead to a 105-percent increase in electricity demand by 2050. If these new loads start to proliferate in your community, are you ready to support them? Now is the time to plan for EV infrastructure and to make important cost-benefit decisions. Learn about new developments and advances in EVs and how they are impacting the utility industry. Hear about innovative public power EV programs and get insights regarding how to work with customers to spur investment in EVs, develop fair pricing models and plan for potential load growth.
Oct. 12 – Best Practices in Battery Storage: The evolution of energy storage is changing how we produce and consume energy like never before. Technological advances, reduced costs and mandates from regulators have positioned energy storage for unprecedented growth. Get up to speed on where we are and what to expect in the future. Three public power utilities will talk about their award-winning storage projects and the realities of implementation, from selecting a developer and siting to leveraging benefits such as peak shaving and financial impacts. Your pioneering colleagues will help you navigate the bold new path of utility-scale battery storage.
Oct. 26 – Smart Meters for Smart Solutions: Learn from utilities that have installed advanced metering infrastructure (AMI). Gear up for the real-world challenges and understand how other utilities like yours are using AMI and integrating with other technologies. Understand how to fully leverage the benefits of smart meters — to predict load and usage, implement time-of-use rates, respond better to outages, assess the need for system upgrades and offset peak demand charges. Gather best practices on transitioning rate structures, educating customers and soliciting feedback.
Registration information You can sign up for the entire series or register for each webinar individually. Individual webinars cost $99 for APPA members and $199 for nonmembers. Register for all five webinars for $395 for APPA members or $795 for nonmembers, a discount equivalent to one webinar.
Source: American Public Power Association, 7/10/17
Electric vehicles (EVs) are quickly becoming one of the largest flexible loads on the grid in certain parts of the United States. Bloomberg New Energy Finance projects EV electricity consumption to increase to approximately 33 terawatt-hours (TWh) annually by 2025, and 551 TWh by 2040.
While most industry analysts see EVs as a boon for utilities, load management risks are an issue. Managed charging—remotely controlling vehicle charging by turning it up, down or even off to correspond to grid conditions—could present utilities with an effective, new demand response opportunity.
Utilities and Electric Vehicles: The Case for Managed Charging, by the Smart Electric Power Association (SEPA), offers a wide-lens overview of the managed charging ecosystem. This research report studies game-changing utility pilot programs for developing and testing managed charging approaches. Download the free report to learn about:
Examples of utility programs
Vehicle-grid integration and connected-car platform providers
Compatible electric vehicle supply equipment
Examples of automotive industry activities
Utilities have a central role to play as a nexus for stakeholders in the EV market, with their deep understanding of the grid and customers’ needs and interest. Power providers must act now to advocate for consumer-friendly features and programs, and to help shape relevant policies, regulations and standards. Utilities and Electric Vehicles: The Case for Managed Charging is an excellent resource for preparing for the future of EVs.
The UEF program committee asked utility and government representatives to weigh in on the topics they wanted to discuss in the exclusive session dedicated to those groups. Not surprisingly, the responses reflected California’s unique situation, even as they echoed the findings of the Utility Dive survey.
Energy storage The question that was No. 1 in the minds of survey respondents was, “What is the value of energy storage for customers, utilities and the grid?” It is not hard to connect the dots between energy storage and concerns about distributed energy policy and aging grid infrastructure that ranked high in the Utility Dive survey. But in California, a combination of legislative and market forces have made energy storage specifically a relevant topic.
Most people automatically think about battery systems when they hear energy storage, and six utilities in the state have already installed and are experimenting with that technology. However, thermal storage—using available renewable electricity to heat water or make ice for later use in heating or cooling—is a proven technology in use at eight California utilities. Pacific Gas and Electric has the state’s only pumped storage project, which uses renewable energy to pump water to a higher-altitude reservoir where it is released to generate hydropower when needed.
Utilities and battery manufacturers still have much to learn about storage batteries, from funding and installation to operation and maintenance to best uses for the systems. Riverside Public Utilities enlisted the University of California Riverside as a research partner to discover more about solar-plus-storage capabilities. Imperial Irrigation District installed 30 megawatts (MW) of storage last October. System operators find it valuable for balancing intermittent solar power during weekdays, but also note that it takes 220 tons of air conditioning to control battery temperatures. Maintaining constant battery temperature is crucial to extending the life of batteries. Tucson Electric Power (TEP) chose to lease 10 MW of storage from Next Era and Eon as a way of easing through the learning curve. The system supports 40 MW of solar and provides ancillary services for TEP.
So far, the business case for storage has yet to be made because utilities are still discovering the values associated with it. Also, each utility will have to learn how to maximize storage on its own system. Planning and rate design will play a critical role in unlocking the value of the technology. But utilities can’t afford to hang back, as big, energy-intensive businesses like data centers are already investigating going off-grid with their own solar-plus-storage systems. These customers may prove to be important partners for power providers seeking to meet storage mandates.
More to offer Stagnant load growth appeared in the Top 10 Utility Dive survey results, a harbinger of reduced revenues utilities can expect from distributed generation and storage technologies. California utilities seem to be ahead of the curve in this respect, interested in exploring new business models to grow services and build relationships. Many roundtable participants have begun to create programs and services that offer customers more than kilowatts.
A number of industry surveys indicate that most consumers still rely on their power providers to help them sort out claims about electrical products and services. Utilities can leverage this trust to get customers to take a holistic approach to energy use, installing weatherization and efficient appliances and systems before moving on to renewables.
The City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU), for example, offers comprehensive home audits and free concierge service that customers can call with any question about energy use. The service is just starting to take off as CPAU hones its message and outreach strategy. “Ongoing customer communication is critical, and not just for specific programs,” observed CPAU Key Account Manager Bryan Ward. “The issues are complex and education is tough, but the more customers understand, the more they can make good decisions for themselves.”
When the customer is ready to install a solar array, the utility has a vested interest in making sure the job is done right. Roseville Electric Utility’s Trusted Solar Advisor program has been highly successful in helping its customers make educated decisions about solar installations. The “Solar Guy,” Energy Program Technician David Dominguez, has even become something of a local celebrity. Roseville is considering expanding the program to other services, like electric vehicles and energy storage. The moral of Roseville’s story is that personalizing a program can take it to a whole new level.
EVs, rate design central to discussion Of course, you can’t have a discussion about new utility services without the subject of electric vehicle charging stations coming up. Roundtable participants represented a number of different approaches to this service. Burbank Water and Power installs level 1 (standard household) charger outlets on customers’ property and offers a rebate to customers to install a level 2 (240-volt) outlet.
CPAU facilitates permitting and filing for residential and commercial charger installation and for transformer upgrades. Multifamily units, nonprofits and schools are eligible for rebates for chargers, but high-tech businesses in CPAU’s territory didn’t need an incentive to install the technology. The important thing, most agreed, was that utilities need to be involved in pushing out EV chargers, both for the new revenue stream and to ensure effective deployment and implementation.
EVs and technologies like home automation—another behind-the-meter product utilities could offer—lend themselves to load shifting, especially in residential settings. To take full advantage of such demand response strategies, utilities will have to design rates that give customers a reason to participate. The Public Utility Commission of California has called for robust time-of-use rates, which would present utilities with another customer education challenge. Power providers will also want to make sure that vendors of behind-the-meter services are giving consumers honest and accurate information and appropriate support.
Energy efficiency ain’t easy The final roundtable issue was one that is relevant across the country, but again with special significance to California: What hurdles are you encountering integrating and managing more energy efficiency in your mix?
In addition to the state getting half of its electricity from green energy by 2030, California buildings must also increase energy efficiency by 50 percent. As any utility program manager can tell you, the more successful you are at reducing your customers’ energy use, the harder it is to find new savings. The overall trend toward higher efficiency standards for appliances and equipment, along with some of the toughest building codes in the U.S., is already making it more difficult to design effective efficiency programs.
Encouraging customers to make energy-efficiency improvements is further complicated by the fact that electricity rates may continue to rise anyway. Consumers don’t generally care about the intricacies of load resource balance or system optimization, issues that resist simple messaging. To make matters worse, third-party vendors rarely bother to explain to their customers how installing a measure will actually affect their home utility bills—if they, themselves, understand.
When the subject is energy efficiency, talk always circles back to flat and falling revenues, something affecting almost everyone on the panel. Sacramento Municipal Utility District attributes a noticeable decline in sales to building codes. EV charging and electric water heating could help to make up some load, especially since most water heaters in the state are still gas units. But CPAU found few takers for a pilot program offering customers a generous rebate to install electric heat pump water heaters.
Change still only constant There is still plenty of low-hanging efficiency fruit that utilities have not yet picked, though participants acknowledged that it may be getting more expensive to reach. The “free” electricity from a solar array is a lot more appealing to customers than elusive “savings” from an energy-efficient appliance. It is enough to make utilities wonder if the best days of energy-efficiency programs and incentives are behind them.
And yet, industry research shows a strong correlation between energy efficiency and customer satisfaction. Such programs give utilities a chance to interact with customers in a way they wouldn’t get to otherwise. Board members may continue to support a traditional program that does not contribute much to financial or operational goals because they see the public relations value of it. If utilities are going to phase out traditional energy-efficiency programs, they will need to find other ways keep customers engaged and happy.
The two hours scheduled for the UEF Pre-Forum Roundtable passed quickly and—spoiler alert—we did not resolve our most pressing issues. That is likely to take trial, error and perhaps an appetite for risk that is hard to square with our historic mission of reliability and affordability. But it did remind us that customer relationships must be viewed as part of the solution.
When it comes to sustainability, colleges and universities have some of the most aggressive and comprehensive plans in the nation, and WAPA is proud to count some of those institutions as customers. One of our customers, the University of Utah, is putting its climate action plan to the test in the 2016-17 College and University Green Power Challenge, which encourages higher education institutions to increase their use of green power.
Throughout the academic year, the Green Power Partnership tracks the collegiate athletic conferences with the highest combined green power usage in the nation. The challenge, an initiative of the Environmental Protection Agency, is open to any conference in the United States. Currently, 89 schools from 34 athletic conferences are participating in the 2016-17 Challenge. The PAC 12 conference, of which UU is a part, has used 79,173,575 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power so far this year.
The comprehensive plan created the university Sustainability Office and sustainability committees to coordinate education, research and initiatives to reduce the university’s carbon emissions. The carbon commitment works hand in hand with a resilience commitment to strengthen UU’s ability to survive disruption and adapt to change. These commitments combine to form the whole of the plan’s climate commitment.
To meet its stated goals, the plan sets forth structures for guidance and implementation, and decision-making criteria for carbon reduction measures prioritized in an inverted pyramid. Avoiding and reducing emissions top the pyramid as the actions likely to have the greatest effect. Efficiency, resource replacement and offsetting fossil fuel use follow in that order. Every five years, UU will review, revise and resubmit the plan, a process that is currently underway.
Getting started The first step on the road to carbon neutrality was gathering data on all wholly owned buildings and land area of the university and its subsidiaries. Leased facilities were not included in the accounting.
The difficulty for UU was that metering was only available at campus level when the initiative launched. “We have been working to get building-level information to better understand where we should focus our efforts,” said Myron Willson, the university’s deputy chief sustainability officer.
Data collection has led to an increased emphasis on commissioning and re-commissioning buildings and on major building system retrofits. The Sustainability Office is now looking into district-level energy planning on its health sciences campus.
In 2008, the students unanimously voted for a $2.50-per-semester student fee, the Sustainable Campus Initiative Fund, to support sustainability projects. Since then, SCIF has received proposals ranging in focus from food systems to solar energy, and has allocated more than $400,000 in grants to more than 100 projects. There is now support for turning the fund into a revolving loan program that could help to provide the initial capital needed for energy-efficiency and renewable energy projects.
Power supply plays its part Although the plan prioritizes avoiding emissions and improving campus efficiency over using green power and offsetting fossil fuel use with renewable energy purchases, those strategies still have a place. UU installed a combined heat and power plant in 2008 that provides 6 megawatts (MW) of power. There is also about 1.5 MW of distributed solar directly on campus, and another 2 MW under contract for three projects on the university’s Research Park.
The university’s latest project brings together the entire community of students, faculty, staff, alumni, neighbors and friends for a community solar energy installation program. U Community Solar offers members the opportunity to purchase rooftop solar panels and installation for their homes at 20 to 25 percent below market rate. In return for the significant discount, participants can voluntarily donate their renewable energy credits back to the university. “So far, more than 85 percent of participants have agreed to do so, generating almost 1.8 MW in the first round,” said Willson. “The second round is nearing 1 MW of power. We register those RECs through WREGIS [Western Renewable Energy Generation Information System].”
So far, so good In addition to leading its conference in the Green Power Challenge, UU is making progress on its carbon neutrality goals. Its emissions have remained fairly constant since the baseline survey in 2007, but the university has experienced tremendous growth in that time frame. “Our per capita and per-square-foot energy use is down in our latest report, too,” Willson added.
The university continues to move forward with aggressive building standards for new construction and for remodels that are 40 percent better than code and a solar-ready roof initiative. Demand-side incentives from Rocky Mountain Power, the university’s utility, help support efficiency and clean energy projects. “We are able to roll the funds over into next project,” explained Willson. “We have also taken advantage of several Blue-Sky grants to install solar PV.”
To tackle emissions from transportation, the U Drive Electric program offers U community members and Salt Lake City residents the opportunity to purchase or lease electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles at discounted prices. The collaboration between UU, Salt Lake City and Utah Clean Energy has facilitated the sale of 92 electric and plug-in hybrid cars this year.
Willson acknowledged that the 5-year review will bring evolution to the plan. “It is hard to know in the first years what combination of steps will bring the best result,” he said. “But we are currently working with consultants to evaluate several purchase power agreement opportunities for both on- and off-campus generation. This has helped us look at reducing peak demand, opportunities for storage, such as thermal and battery, and how to plan for future campus growth.”
WAPA wishes the University of Utah the best of luck in this year’s Green Power Challenge. But as with most energy competitions, it is not whether you win or lose; it’s how many opportunities for energy savings and load management you discover. In that, UU is already a winner.
If your college or university is interested in joining the 2016-17 Green Power Challenge, check out the steps to join Green Power Partnership for more information. To be listed, a conference must have at least two Green Power Partners and an aggregate green power purchase of at least 10 million kWh across the conference. Partner data deadlines are Jan. 4, 2017, and April 5, 2017.
From economy models to luxury cars, electric vehicles (EVs) claimed their place alongside the usual displays of horsepower at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Almost all major automakers exhibited at least one gas-electric or full-electric vehicle.
No longer just a niche product for “super-green” consumers, alternative-fuel cars now offer the same features, much of the power and all of the slick design of conventional cars. Even Joel Klassen, an internal combustion engine devotee and graphic designer on Western’s Public Affairs staff, was impressed. “The first hybrids looked more like science experiments,” he admitted. “There wasn’t much about them to excite car enthusiasts, but some of these designs are as good-looking as anything at the show. The all-electric Tesla Model S is the world’s first premium electric sedan. It won high acclaim as Motor Trend’s 2013 Car of the Year,” Klassen added.
Pictures taken by Klassen, who makes an annual pilgrimage to Detroit in January to attend the event, show the range of what is available in EVs. The Mercedes Benz Smart ForTwo Electric Drive, named one of the greenest cars of 2014 by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, is the smallest, shortest plug-in electric car sold in the U.S., and the least expensive.
There are no shortage of options for those who like a flashier ride, from the Tesla to the high-performance, gas-electric Porsche 918 Spyder. Another big hit at the show was the handsome BMW i3 electric compact city car, with a range of up to 100 miles. The manufacturer claims it can sprint from 0 to 60 miles per hour in seven seconds—faster than many traditional gasoline vehicles on the market.
The EcoCar2 stood in contrast to all the glamor and gadgetry, as if to remind attendees that solid engineering must come first. The Department of Energy and General Motors are sponsoring a three-year challenge in which college students compete to reduce the environmental impact of a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu. The project is intended to advance the technology that will make EVs more efficient and affordable, and to train the workforce that will design and build tomorrow’s electricity-powered fleet.
Even as the combustion engine continued to dominate the International Auto Show, the message from the auto industry to the utility industry is clear. The market for electric vehicles is growing and it is offering more options to appeal to more consumers. Utilities must prepare for the challenge and opportunity of meeting this new demand.
A recent white paper from the Edison Foundation asserts that more than five million electric vehicles (EVs) will be on U.S. roads by 2035. Depending on battery technology advances and the price of oil, that number could reach up to 30 million. As consumers get a wider choice in EV models and adoption rates climb, utilities will be facing a significant new residential load. Now is the time to start preparing for plug-in electric vehicles, and the considerable energy management challenges they represent for electric utilities.
The third annual Electric Vehicles Virtual Summit on Thursday, June 27, is a one-day, online conference that will delve into the challenges and issues surrounding the successful implementation of intelligent charging infrastructure for the emerging EV market. Speakers will discuss the latest advances in EV battery capabilities, consumer uptake and behavior, and correctly designing intelligent support and charging infrastructure for EVs. This event can help utility executives, smart grid managers, planners and engineers for an emerging technology that promises to have a big impact on their systems.
The list, posted at GreenerCars.org, saw a considerable shake-up, as the battery electric vehicle claimed the top spot from the Honda Civic Natural Gas, which has held on to first place for eight years in a row.
In its model year 2012 debut on the American market, the i-MIEV earned a score of 58, the highest Green Score awarded since ACEEE began ranking vehicles in 1998. Its combined city and highway fuel economy of 112 miles per gallon equivalent outpaces all other vehicles currently sold in United States. “Even taking into account the emissions generated from the electricity used to power the i-MIEV, it still handily outscores other vehicles on the market today,” said ACEEE lead vehicle analyst Shruti Vaidyanathan.
Despite its improved fuel economy this year, the Honda Civic Natural Gas slipped to second place, tying with the Nissan Leaf. The Toyota Prius, Honda Insight and Smart ForTwo rounded out the top six performers.
This year, hybrids dominate the “Greenest” list, occupying half of all spots. Highly efficient conventional gasoline vehicles also continue to have a presence on the “Greenest” list, claiming three of the top twelve spots. This year saw the arrival of a number of new hybrid options for drivers from Hyundai, Kia and Infiniti, but none broke into the top twelve.
Vaidyanathan noted that earning a spot on the “Greenest” list is getting tougher as automakers employ a greater variety of vehicle technologies. “It’s increasingly obvious that automakers are fully invested in providing consumers with the widest possible array of vehicle choices,” he said.
GreenCars.org ranks vehicles with a “Green Score” that incorporates unhealthy tailpipe emissions, fuel consumption and emissions of gases that contribute to climate change. ACEEE made a number of updates to the Green Book® methodology this year to more accurately reflect vehicles’ environmental impacts. Improved emissions estimates for the vehicle manufacturing process, changes reflecting current natural gas extraction practices and consideration of upcoming shifts in the generation mix for the electricity used to power electric cars are now factored into the vehicle’s score.
Walgreen’s drugstore chain has submitted plans to the city of Colorado Springs to install four electric vehicle charging stations around the city. The proposed stations are part of the chain’s larger plan to install 800 facilities around the country, giving EV drivers a convenient place to recharge.
The first of the stations became available in December 2011, and the rest of the facilities should be completed early this year. Walgreen’s, which is partnering with charging network developer 350Green, has plans for about 25 such stations across Colorado. The cost of the power at the stations will depend on local electricity rates.
Santa Monica, Calif., is working with EV Connect to create the infrastructure to support EVs and make the city “plug-in friendly.” EV Connect is installing publicly accessible charging stations at seven sites and numerous residences around the city. The high-traffic locations chosen for the stations include Santa Monica Place Mall, Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica Civic Center and Santa Monica Airport.
A report from Global Energy Watch anticipates that the market for EV charging stations will grow significantly over the next eight to 10 years as production of the vehicles increases. Governments and military installations are adopting EVs to meet environmental and efficiency mandates, driving the deployment of more charging stations. That, in turn, encourages consumers to buy EVs as they become confident that the infrastructure exists to allow them to charge their cars when- and wherever they need.
While there are still challenges to EV adoption, charging stations clearly represent a potential economic development opportunity for private companies, municipalities and even utilities.