A How-to Guide for Regulators
In response to a groundswell of public opinion, state policymakers and utilities throughout the country are embracing electric vehicle (EV) technology as a way to mitigate climate change and reduce air pollution. The challenges of doing so are not purely financial or technological. EV technology needs to be proliferated in a way that promotes equitable deployment of resources while maximizing environmental benefits. Therefore, state policymakers and utilities must prioritize the needs of stakeholders in low-income and pollution-burdened areas. They must also pay heed to the needs of all types of vehicles. Rather than focusing on light-duty vehicles (LDVs), medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs) must be contemplated as well.
Financially, the upfront costs of transportation electrification – while decreasing rapidly – can still be significant, despite savings of the lifetime of the vehicle. But, progress is aided by the falling price of electric vehicles, the economies of scale of per-vehicle costs of charging Infrastructure , and lifetime cost savings across vehicle segments - all of which can be stimulated by public investment, through use of ratepayer and other investments, in the near term.
From a technological point of view, while EVs represent a significant new load on the grid, that additional load can be managed to a certain extent by, for example, pairing with on-site renewables and stationary batteries. Even better, the batteries of vehicles such as freight trucks
can be harnessed to provide grid-level storage benefits at costs that are orders of magnitude lower than conventional batteries.
This paper offers seven approaches that state policymakers and utilities should consider as they explore how best to facilitate the new era of transportation electrification. By adopting these
guidelines, states will be able to drive more rapid, widespread, and equitable deployment of infrastructure and EVs. Moreover, these strategies will help ensure that the transition occurs in a way that maximizes climate, health, and economic
It should be noted that there is a certain amount of emphasis on electrification of trucks and buses, by virtue of the experience and expertise of the authors; as such, while there are many
considerations described in this paper that will apply to vehicles of all sizes, some recommendations are specifically geared towards heavier vehicles. To the extent possible, that distinction has been noted in the reports that follows.
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