Electric Vehicles

Energy efficiency financing models for buildings could work for natural gas vehicles

Owners of large buildings who want to save money by improving energy efficiency first have to overcome a huge hurdle – the upfront costs of getting the work done. A similar hurdle exists for fleet managers considering switching to natural gas vehicles to save on fuel costs – high initial expenses for vehicles and infrastructure.

What if the same method being used to pay for more energy-efficient buildings could also be used to get cleaner alternative fuel vehicles on the road? A new report by C2ES makes the connection between a commonly used business arrangement in the building sector and its potential use in the deployment of natural gas in public and private vehicle fleets.

Applying the Energy Service Company Model to Advance Deployment of Fleet Natural Gas Vehicles and Fueling Infrastructure

Applying the Energy Service Company Model to Advance Deployment of Fleet Natural Gas Vehicles and Fueling Infrastructure

June 2014

by Matt Frades

Download the full paper (PDF)

This paper explores the opportunity for using ESCO-style service contracts to advance investment in natural gas vehicles by fleets. Starting with a brief overview of the ESCO market, this paper explains how ESCOs reduce barriers faced by energy efficiency and cost savings projects, presents case studies that demonstrate how some of the features of ESCOs are being employed in cutting-edge NGV fleet projects, and explores how these features could be incorporated into innovative business models that reduce the barriers to NGV fleet project investment. 

 

Matt Frades
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Alternative Fuel Vehicle & Fueling Infrastructure Deployment Barriers & the Potential Role of Private Sector Financial Solutions

Alternative Fuel Vehicle & Fueling Infrastructure Deployment Barriers & the Potential Role of Private Sector Financial Solutions

April 2014

by Sarah Dougherty and Nick Nigro

Download the full paper (PDF)

This paper examines how private financing can address the barriers to demand facing electric, natural gas, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and their related fueling infrastructure. Starting with a review of the state of the market, it covers significant barriers to market demand and barriers for private investors and concludes with a review of innovative finance options used in other sectors that could be applied to the alternative fuel vehicle market.

 

Nick Nigro
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C2ES Highlights Findings from 16 Plug-in Electric Vehicle Initiatives

Press Release

Feb. 19, 2014

Contact: Laura Rehrmann, rehrmannl@c2es.org, 703-516-0621

C2ES highlights findings from 16 plug-in electric vehicle initiatives

WASHINGTON -- Cities and states are building the expertise needed to encourage mass market adoption of electric vehicles, according to a new report prepared by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) for the U.S. Department of Energy.

The report summarizes the lessons learned from 16 government, educational and nonprofit groups that received $8.5 million in Energy Department grants to advance the deployment of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). Participants in projects across 24 states and the District of Columbia spent 18 months assessing the barriers to and opportunities for PEV deployment in their regions and preparing and executing plans.=

This report is designed to be useful to public officials, business leaders, and any decision-maker interested in unlocking the economic and environmental benefits of electric vehicles," said C2ES President Eileen Claussen. “Expanding adoption of advanced technology and alternative fuel vehicles will help Americans save money, keep more money in local economies, minimize pollution, and increase energy security.”

“To expand the market for PEVs, we’ll need policies that make it easier to own and operate PEVs, strategically deploy vehicle charging stations, and integrate PEVs into the electrical grid,” said report author Matt Frades. “By laying out strategies for ongoing work and forging new partnerships, the efforts begun across the country under these grants will foster PEV deployment for years to come.”

The C2ES report, “A Guide to the Lessons Learned from the Clean Cities Community Electric Vehicle Readiness Projects,” highlights some of the key findings, including:

  • Public outreach about PEVs raises awareness, dispels misconceptions, and supports prudent policy. More information will help consumers make choices and help businesses and governments make decisions about charging station deployment.
  • Incentives help overcome the roadblocks to early PEV adoption. Income tax credits and other incentives such as high-occupancy vehicle lane access have spurred PEV purchases
  • Access to charging is vital at multi-family residences and workplaces.  These are the two highest priority charging locations after single-family homes, but obstacles include low early demand, lack of familiarity with PEVs, and questions about recovering costs.
  • Local governments play a key role in charging station deployment. Both public and private charging infrastructure can be governed by local permitting, inspection, building codes, and zoning, parking, and signage rules.
  • Electric utilities should plan for PEV adoption. Utilities will need to ensure the grid is responsive to increased demand from PEVs. They can also explore how PEVs can help manage the grid using emerging technologies.

C2ES collaborated with the Department of Energy and Argonne National Laboratory on the report to help communities across the country learn from the actions grant recipients took to identify and overcome barriers to PEV deployment.

Read the C2ES synthesis report: http://bit.ly/c2esevready

Read the 16 PEV readiness plans: http://www.eere.energy.gov/cleancities/electric_vehicle_projects.html.

Read the DOE blog: 10 Ways Communities Can Pave the Way for PEVs

About C2ES
The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent nonprofit, nonpartisan organization promoting strong policy and action to address the twin challenges of energy and climate change. Launched in 2011, C2ES is the successor to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. Learn more at www.c2es.org.

Electric Vehicle Readiness Project Highlights

South Coast Air Quality Management District

Region covered: California, with individual plans covering the Bay Area, Central Coast, Sacramento, San Diego, San Joaquin, and South Coast regions
Highlights: More than 500 local planning officials and members of the public attended the California grantee’s community workshops on the basics of PEV technology, ownership and charging. This workshop model could be replicated elsewhere. The grantee also developed a detailed toolkit with links to resources and sample language for local policies.
Report: http://www.pevcollaborative.org/sites/all/themes/pev/files/docs/ca_pev_readiness_report_final.pdf

American Lung Association of the Southwest
Region covered: Colorado
Highlights: The Colorado grantee performed a detailed well-to-wheels life cycle analysis, taking into account emissions from electricity generation, that concluded that the total emissions of greenhouse gases, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, and nitrogen oxides from PEVs driven in the state are consistently lower than emissions from conventional vehicles.
Report: http://www.electricridecolorado.com/

South Florida Regional Planning Council
Region covered: Southeast Florida region, with consideration given to statewide policy and planning
Highlights: With multi-unit residences making up 41 percent of housing in Southeast Florida, the grantee developed fact sheets, seminars, and workshops to help residents make the case for charging stations and help building managers plan for them. The Florida grantee also completed a detailed master plan for a demonstration project for a car-sharing program along the U.S. 1 corridor in Miami Dade County. The plan calls for 15 to 20 percent of the car-share vehicles to be PEVs and for charging stations to be installed at 12 mass transit stations.
Report (Parts 1& 2):
http://www1.eere.energy.gov/cleancities/pdfs/drive_electric_florida_i.pdf

http://www1.eere.energy.gov/cleancities/pdfs/drive_electric_florida_ii.pdf

Metropolitan Energy Information Center, Inc.
Region covered: Greater Kansas City area with consideration given to statewide policy and planning
Highlights: The Kansas City grantee developed a model to test for weak points in the electricity distribution infrastructure under various scenarios of PEV adoption. The grantee conducted a technical analysis to support PEV travel between Kansas City, Topeka and Wichita, including identifying charging station sites, and developed a platform to facilitate future corridor development. The grantee also worked with local community colleges to develop curricula for PEV technician training programs.
Report: http://electrifyheartland.org/read-the-plan/

University of Hawaii
Region covered: Maui, Hawaii with consideration given to statewide policy and planning
Highlights: The Maui grantee planned a smart grid demonstration project in which 200 private, car share, and fleet PEV owner partners will interconnect with charge management systems (an electronic system that manages the timing of battery charging). The grantee also produced 12 episodes of a television program to inform the public about PEVs and developed an alliance of stakeholders that continues to collaborate with communities on PEVs throughout the state.
Report: http://maui.hawaii.edu/eva/home/

Clean Energy Coalition
Region covered: Michigan
Highlights: The Michigan grantee developed a toolkit for local communities with detailed recommendations, sample code language, and alternative approaches based on the desired level of action.
Report: http://cec-mi.org/mobility/programs/pluginreadymichigan/

New York City and Lower Hudson Valley Clean Communities, Inc.
Region covered: New York City
Highlights: The New York City grantee investigated the feasibility of fast-charging taxi fleets and worked with managers of car share and retail delivery vehicle fleets to use PEVs. The grantee also developed a training manual on PEV operation and charging for garages and conducted training sessions for attendants.
Report: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/cleancities/pdfs/nyc_readiness_plan.pdf

Centralina Council of Governments
Region covered: North Carolina, with individual plans covering Greater Ashville, Greater Charlotte, Greater Triangle, Piedmont Triad regions as well as a statewide plan
Highlights: The North Carolina grantee compiled a detailed overview of PEV incentives offered in the state and throughout the country, presented survey results on the incentives that are desirable to fleet owners, and analyzed policy implications for the state. The effort also created structures for partnership and coordination among local and regional governments and stakeholders.
Report: http://www.ncpevtaskforce.org/

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
Region covered: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and the District of Columbia
Highlights: The Northeast Regional grantee identified nine ideal types of locations for charging stations, with in-depth site typologies and case studies, to help public planners and private investors understand the opportunities and challenges inherent in each location type. The grantee also developed toolkits for how to best install charging stations, including diagrams and guidelines specific to installation settings (such as on-street parking, garages, and commercial lots). Another toolkit includes case studies and model codes for EV readiness to help local governments prepare for PEV adoption.
Report: http://www.transportationandclimate.org/northeast-electric-vehicle-network-documents

Clean Fuels Ohio
Region covered: Ohio
Highlights: The Ohio grantee analyzed the local economic impacts of fuel savings from PEV adoption and determined that out of every dollar spent on gasoline, only 16.4 cents continues to circulate in the Ohio economy. The Ohio grantee found a $1,300 economic benefit per PEV adopted in the state, in part, because saving money on gas allows consumers to spend locally.
Report: http://www.driveelectricohio.org/evplan/

Oregon Business Development Department
Region covered: Oregon
Highlights: The department staged ride-and-drive events to give consumers firsthand experience with PEVs. It also identified issues that are making organizations reluctant to install charging stations and recommended developing a workplace outreach and information program. The grantee is exploring financing options for public and nonprofit fleets that cannot access tax incentives and proposed a program to loan PEVs to fleet managers to raise awareness.
Report: http://www.evroadmap.us/content/energizing-oregon-plan

Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy
Region covered: Richmond region, with consideration given to Virginia statewide policy and planning
Highlights: The Richmond grantee organized high-profile events to educate the public about PEVs and forged new stakeholder partnerships in the community.
Report: http://www.virginiaev.org/

Center for Transportation and the Environment
Region covered: Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina
Highlights: The grantee analyzed the future need for charging infrastructure in its regions and developed plans for charging station deployment. The analysis indicated that the majority (57 percent) of charging will occur at home, followed by the workplace (26 percent). Only 17 percent of charging is projected to occur at public charging stations.
Report: http://www.cleancitiesatlanta.net/component/content/article/130-electric-vehicle-readiness-workbook

Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission
Region covered: Philadelphia-Camden-Trenton metropolitan area, including counties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey
Highlights: The grantee analyzed household travel survey and demographic data to inform charging infrastructure investment and siting. The grantee concluded that many vehicles in its region can readily be replaced by PEVs and that a majority of the region’s charging demand can be met with residential and workplace charging.
Report (Parts 1 & 2):
http://www1.eere.energy.gov/cleancities/pdfs/delaware_valley_readiness_plan.pdf

http://www1.eere.energy.gov/cleancities/pdfs/delaware_valley_readiness_plan_ii.pdf

City of Austin, Austin Energy
Region covered: Central Texas region, including the greater Austin and San Antonio communities, with consideration given to statewide policy and planning
Highlights: The Texas River Cities grantee developed a tool to help electric utilities and private investors evaluate whether and how to invest in charging infrastructure. The grantee developed a best-practices guide, including a checklist and flowcharts that detail the specific roles and responsibilities of business owners, contractors, electric utilities, and government authorities. The grantee also developed a technical planning roadmap for PEV interoperability with the grid that characterizes the devices and systems necessary to enable smart grid applications, identifies and prioritizes all the points where existing and future technologies must interact, and lays out a plan for facilitating smart grid development.
Report: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/cleancities/pdfs/texas_river_cities_readiness_plan.pdf

Center for the Commercialization of Electric Technologies
Region covered: Texas Triangle region including Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston-Galveston, and San Antonio-Austin urban areas, with consideration given to statewide policy and planning
Highlights: The Texas Triangle plan itemized a menu of activities to promote PEV readiness and proposed that the state establish a PEV-Friendly Community program to provide guidance to and recognition of localities that take actions to support PEVs. The grantee also planned demonstration projects for a fleet of electric medium-duty trucks to test their ability to generate extra revenue by selling electricity back to the grid when it is most needed.
Report: http://www.electrictechnologycenter.com/texas_triangle_plan.html

 

Lessons Learned from the Clean Cities Community EV Readiness Projects

A C2ES report, "A Guide to the Lessons Learned from the Clean Cities Community Electric Vehicle Readiness Projects," summarizes the lessons learned from 16 government, educational and nonprofit groups that received $8.5 million in U.S. Department of Energy grants to advance the deployment of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). Participants in projects across 24 states and the District of Columbia spent 18 months assessing the barriers to and opportunities for PEV deployment in their regions and preparing and executing readiness plans. See the map below for information about each of the 16 projects.

The C2ES report, A Guide to the Lessons Learned from the Clean Cities Community Electric Vehicle Readiness Projects,” highlights some of the key findings, including:

  • Public outreach about PEVs raises awareness, dispels misconceptions, and supports prudent policy. More information will help consumers make choices and help businesses and governments make decisions about charging station deployment.
  • Incentives help overcome the roadblocks to early PEV adoption. Income tax credits and other incentives such as high-occupancy vehicle lane access have spurred PEV purchases
  • Access to charging is vital at multi-family residences and workplaces. These are the two highest priority charging locations after single-family homes, but obstacles include low early demand, lack of familiarity with PEVs, and questions about recovering costs.
  • Local governments play a key role in charging station deployment. Both public and private charging infrastructure can be governed by local permitting, inspection, building codes, and zoning, parking, and signage rules.
  • Electric utilities should plan for PEV adoption. Utilities will need to ensure the grid is responsive to increased demand from PEVs. They can also explore how PEVs can help manage the grid using emerging technologies.

C2ES collaborated with the Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Program and Argonne National Laboratory on the report to help communities across the country learn from the actions grant recipients took to identify and overcome barriers to PEV deployment.

The report is designed to be useful to state and local decision-makers, regardless of their level of experience with PEV technology. It provides an accessible primer to the key issues and a roadmap to more detailed information that cities and states can use directly.

Other Project Activities

Webinar for Clean Cities Coalitions on the PEV Dialogue Group Action Plan

Electric Vehicle Symposium (EVS26) Meeting for Clean Cities

National Governors Association Workshop on PEVs

Action Plan Webinar for Clean Cities Coalitions

One of the target audiences for the PEV Dialogue Group’s Action Plan is undoubtedly the national network of Clean Cities Coalitions, a key group of alternative fuel supporters affiliated with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Program. Clean Cities Coalitions engage in on-the-ground activity to facilitate the deployment of alternative fuel vehicles and fueling infrastructure. The Action Plan helps bring these coalitions up to speed on the steps necessary to smooth the introduction of PEVs in their area.

The first of two webinars took place on April 17, 2012 in partnership with U.S. DOE’s Clean Cities and the Rocky Mountain Institute, both members of the PEV Dialogue Group. Click here to download that slide set. The second webinar took place on June 20, 2012. Click here for the second slide set. 

Electric Vehicle Symposium (EVS26) Meeting for Clean Cities

May 7, 2012, in Los Angeles, California

The 2012 Electric Vehicle Symposium (EVS26) brought together many of the leaders in the plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) industry. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Program and Argonne National Laboratory invited grant recipients and industry experts to a workshop facilitated by C2ES. Participants discussed challenges and shared best practices regarding efforts to prepare areas for PEVs and charging infrastructure deployment.

Download the handout provided to participants, a presentation by Ted Bohn from Argonne National Lab, and the summary report from the workshop session.

National Governors Association Workshop on PEVs

July 10-11, 2012, in Washington, DC

C2ES helped the National Governors Association, Argonne National Laboratory, and the U.S. Department of Energy Clean Cities put on a PEV workshop. The workshop brought together 17 states and other stakeholders, including several PEV Dialogue Group members, to discuss issues related to technology, policy, and consumer outreach for PEVs.

Further information on the workshop including all presentations is available on the NGA website.

Who Can Own/Operate a Charging Station


This map summarizes state activities to address issues related to owning and operating electric vehicle charging stations.

One of the key regulatory challenges to electric vehicle-grid integration is defining which entities can own and operate vehicle charging stations. States regulate retail electricity sales to all utility customers, so two key questions arise:

  • Under what conditions should charging station providers (also called electric vehicle service providers) be regulated as electric utilities?
  • Under what conditions can electric utilities own and operate a charging station?

Without regulatory changes, many states would be forced to regulate electric vehicle service providers as utilities because they sell electricity directly to consumers. These extensive regulations  would make many new business models unfeasible and discourage growth in charging infrastructure deployment. The PEV Dialogue Group recommends that a charging station provider that is only selling electricity as a transportation service should not be regulated as a utility.

Another major issue is under what conditions electric utilities can own and operate public charging stations, and whether there should be a different set of rules in low-demand markets. If electric utilities use ratepayer funds to deploy charging stations, they would have an unfair competitive advantage against other electric vehicle service providers. On the other hand, utilities could help provide charging infrastructure to underserved areas. The PEV Dialogue Group recommends that states allow utilities to own and operate public charging stations through unregulated affiliates. The Group also recommends that states allow utilities to own and operate charging stations for internal use, for demonstration purposes, and in areas that the private market would not support otherwise.

Related Reports

  • See the PEV Action Plan for more information on regulations related to owning and operating charging stations.

Related Maps

Last updated: October 6, 2014

PEV Integration with Electrical Grid


Over time, many electric utilities have upgraded the electricity generation and distribution infrastructure to support increased electric load for air conditioning and other high-power loads. Electric vehicles could be the next major electric load for utilities to accommodate if deployment continues to expand nationwide. Integrating electric vehicles with the grid is a challenge for electric utilities. But utilities could also take advantage of the vehicles’ batteries for grid management.

To facilitate electric vehicle-grid integration, states have enacted policies to help utilities plan for the increased load, harness the potential grid benefits of electric vehicles, and ensure all customers can access home charging.

This map identifies which states have enabled notification to electric utilities of electric vehicle sales, have updated residential building codes to accommodate electric vehicle charging, and are piloting new technologies that enable electric vehicles to provide grid ancillary services (also known as vehicle-to-grid).

The PEV Dialogue Group recommends that states continue to protect the reliability of the electrical grid, minimize the cost of electric vehicle-grid integration, and treat electric vehicles similarly to other incremental electric loads.

Related Reports

  • See the PEV Action Plan for background on policies and actions to integrate electric vehicles with the electrical grid, including vehicle-to-grid technology.

Related Maps

Last updated: February 11, 2014

PEV Electricity Pricing by Time-Of-Use (TOU)


A large amount of surplus electricity-generating capacity is generally available during off-peak hours. To moderate costly fluctuations in power consumption and production throughout the day, utilities could provide a price incentive to encourage electric vehicle owners to charge during off-peak periods. Doing so would lower the cost of integrating the vehicles with the grid and could even lower prices if the average cost of delivering electricity is lowered for all ratepayers. 

One way to encourage off-peak charging is through time-differentiated, or time-of-use (TOU), electricity rates that offer cheaper electricity overnight when demand is low. Many electric utilities offer TOU rates to manage existing grid assets more efficiently.

The PEV Dialogue Group recommends electric utilities offer attractive electricity rates for electric vehicles and encourage off-peak charging in order to accelerate electric vehicle adoption and lower vehicle-grid integration costs.

This map displays states with electric utilities that have adopted TOU rates specifically targeted at electric vehicles. Much of the data comes from the Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuel Data Center.

For information about TOU and other electricity rates for most electric utilities, visit the OpenEI website, a joint initiative between the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and many others.

Related Reports

  • See the PEV Action Plan for background on the benefits of TOU rates for electric vehicles and the electrical grid.

Related Maps

Last updated: February 11, 2014

PEV-Specific Measures for Transportation Infrastructure Funding


The gap between available transportation funding and what’s needed has been growing nationwide. (See C2ES’s brief on federal transportation reauthorization program for more information.)

States must balance measures to reduce transportation’s effects on the environment, through for example, programs such as electric vehicle incentives, with the need to provide transportation infrastructure funding. Most of this funding comes from user fees including motor fuels taxes. Most of this funding comes from user fees including motor fuels taxes.

Available evidence suggests electric vehicles will have a very small effect on transportation funding in the near term. As a result, the PEV Dialogue Group recommends that states enact revenue collection plans before electric vehicle adoption noticeably affects revenues, when technically feasible, and without stunting the growth of the electric vehicle market.

This map documents activity by states to recover transportation infrastructure revenue from electric vehicles. Much of the data comes from the Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuel Data Center.

Related Reports

  • See the PEV Action Tool for more information about activities by state transportation departments to promote electric vehicles and fund transportation infrastructure.

Related

Last updated: February 11, 2014

Fostering Electric Vehicles

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Cities and states are building the expertise needed to encourage mass market adoption of electric vehicles. A new C2ES report summarizes the lessons learned from 16 groups that received Energy Department grants to advance the deployment of plug-in electric vehicles in their communities. The report is also a roadmap for accessing the research, toolkits, and other resources in the 16 readiness plans.
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