Utilities Get More Proactive on EVs and Charging Infrastructure
It took some prodding, but utilities are finally upping their game on electric vehicles.
EVs represent an enormous load-growth opportunity for utilities at a time when efficiency measures and distributed generation are causing low or no increase in electricity sales in the United States.
The Edison Electric Institute (EEI), the national association of U.S. investor-owned utilities, has said that electrification of the transportation sector is necessary for the industry to “remain viable” in the long term. And yet many utilities have been hesitant to invest in either charging infrastructure for their customers or in EVs for their own fleets.
In the U.S., modern EVs came to market in 2010. But as recently as last year, only one investor-owned utility had electrified more than 5 percent of its fleet, according to a presentation made by Anthony Earley, CEO of Pacific Gas & Electric, this week at the EEI annual convention in New Orleans. Earley didn’t name names, but PG&E is known to hold the title of having the greenest utility fleet, with more than 1,500 plug-in vehicles.