Electric Vehicles

PEV Market Updates

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Each quarter, C2ES presents updates on the state of the PEV market, technology and policy highlights, and spotlights on the activities of select grant recipients. These activities promote electric vehicle readiness in each of these communities by fostering public-private partnerships to deploy electric vehicles and to increase public access to charging stations.
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Plug-in Electric Vehicle Market Update, Fall 2014

About the PEV Quarterly Webinar Series

C2ES’s quarterly State of Play webinar addresses the current state of the PEV market, presents new research, technology, and policies that may affect the future of PEV deployment, and highlights new accomplishments from select awardees from the Clean Cities Electric Vehicle Community Readiness Projects. The projects promote PEV readiness in each of these communities by fostering public-private partnerships to deploy PEVs and to increase public access to charging stations. A full list of projects and a map of grant recipients can be found on the Department Of Energy Clean Cities website.

C2ES is participating in a series of webinars on plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) markets and the progress of the Department of Energy Clean Cities EV Community Readiness grant recipients. A new webinar, hosted by DOE with input from Argonne National Laboratory, will be presented each quarter with market updates, technology and policy highlights, and spotlights on select grant recipients. The first presentation, held on September 29, 2014, focused on the economic and financial impacts of PEV deployment. The webinar can be found online at the DOE website (C2ES slides here).

Consumer choice appears to be limited and BEVs are gaining ground. Although 18 PEV models have been sold in the United States in 2014, only six models made up 90 percent of total PEV sales, on average. Besides the Tesla Model S, these vehicles are small or compact cars, so PEVs are unlikely to accommodate the needs of most vehicle buyers. Notably, BEV monthly sales in 2014 are now approximately equal to monthly PHEV sales. Automakers with the largest PEV sales have focused on either BEV or PHEV technology (see chart below). In addition, many BEV models are only be offered in California, Oregon, or the remaining eight states that participate in California’s Zero Emissions Vehicle program. These vehicles make up less than 10 percent of the overall PEV market.

The chart below (source: Hybridcars.com September 2014 Market Dashboard) shows which auto manufacturers lead the market in total EV sales, which automakers have EVs make up the largest share of their sales, and which technology each company predominantly sells to consumers. Not shown in the figure is Tesla Motors, which sold 1,300 BEVs comprising 100% of its total auto sales. 

Publicly available charging infrastructure may not meet the needs of existing PEV drivers. Robust charging infrastructure is a necessary component to developing a stronger PEV market. Charging station power level and location information from the U.S. Department of Energy indicates a publicly available charging network that 1) does not enable access to large sections of the country, and 2) may not be sufficiently dense to accommodate the number of PEVs on the road. There is currently a national ratio of 14 PEVs for every public Level 2 charging port and 182 PEVs for every DC fast charging location. Compatibility issues exacerbate the scarcity of DC fast charging ports, as nearly all ports only support the CHAdeMO charging standard or Tesla’s proprietary charging standard.

Recent research identifies ways to improve the PEV ownership value proposition. The Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC) published a study that uses New England’s electricity rates to estimate potential earnings that individual and fleet PEV owners could gain through participation in frequency regulation services. The cost savings through PEV-delivered grid services, up to $40 per vehicle monthly, could help consumers reduce PEV price premiums. Further, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory estimates a PEV could provide between $1,400 and $6,700 over the next decade in grid support services for regional power markets. These studies raise, but do not directly address, concerns about battery degradation as a result of additional battery cell cycling, and complement the research conducted at the University of Delaware, which runs a vehicle-to-grid pilot project with PJM Interconnection that earned participating vehicles $150 per month.

Biogas-generated electric vehicle charging is now covered by the federal Renewable Fuel Standard. The Renewable Fuel Standard, administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has faced serious challenges meeting the cellulosic ethanol requirements since 2011. In response, the EPA expanded the number of fuel pathways to meet the standard in July 2014. The EPA established a pathway for biogas-generated electricity to charge electric vehicles. Eligible biogas producers include landfill operators, dairy farmers, and municipal solid waste and wastewater treatment facilities. VEIC estimated each PEV could generate $80 worth credits other RFS program, which could be used by utilities or private charging service providers to improve the value of providing charging services. Importantly, only bio-based fuels are eligible for the RFS program, so the new PEV pathway cannot be extended to solar or wind power.

States are reviewing options for regulating charging service providers. Regulations designed to apply to large electric utilities may be applied to smaller, privately-owned electric service providers and could weaken the business case for electric service providers to deploy charging infrastructure. Fifteen states have exempted charging service providers from regulation as electric utilities so long as they do not conduct activities similar to a utility, such as procuring electricity on the wholesale market. State revision of charging regulations is an ongoing process—Massachusetts, West Virginia, and Utah finalized regulatory exemptions this past year.

Consumer outreach and education are valuable tools for creating PEV awareness. In recent interviews, each Electric Vehicle Community Readiness grant recipient stated that education and outreach were vital to fostering consumer familiarity and comfort with PEVs. Three of the four grant recipients interviewed indicated that ride and drive events are one of the most effective methods of reaching potential consumers, in particular through leveraging public-private partnerships with local organizations and auto dealers. These events generate positive stories about PEVs, but finding a direct link to PEV purchasing can be difficult. A project aimed determining if there is a connection between ride and drive events and PEV sales, Experience Electric, is currently collecting data in the San Francisco Bay-area.

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Clean Cities Coalitions are updating and distributing projections of state economic benefits through PEV deployment. Two Clean Cities PEV community readiness grant recipients, Drive Electric Ohio and the Oregon Business Development Department, commissioned studies on the local economic impact of PEV deployment. These studies estimated the effects of PEV deployment on the state economies. The studies used a model developed by IMPLAN that estimates costs and benefits using information on local economic outputs and market projections. Drive Electric Ohio’s study, which was released as part of its PEV Readiness Plan, found that each PEV on the road adds $1,300 annually more than a gasoline-powered vehicle to the state’s economy. Oregon’s study, which was part of the Energizing Oregon plan and was conducted through the Northwest Economic Research Center at Portland State University, determined that the PEV industry produces approximately $260 million of net economic activity in the state. Drive Electric Ohio presents its analyses at conferences and when engaging with state legislators. Drive Oregon, the associated non-profit that the Oregon Business Development Department has tasked with implementing its EV initiative, is supporting a follow-up research paper from Oregon State University that will be completed during the fall 2014. No competing models have been used in these regions, so there are no bases for comparison. IMPLAN’s model has recently been used by electric utilities in other regions to project EV economic impacts and by government agencies to estimate economic and job impacts of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding.

PEV Market Updates

C2ES is participating in a series of webinars on the plug-in electric vehicle market and the progress of U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Clean Cities Electric Vehicle Community Readiness grant recipients. A new webinar, hosted by DOE with input from Argonne National Laboratory, will be presented each quarter with market updates, technology and policy highlights, and spotlights on the activities of select grant recipients. These activities promote electric vehicle readiness in each of these communities by fostering public-private partnerships to deploy electric vehicles and to increase public access to charging stations.

The list below will be updated for each new webinar. Check back here regularly for new presentations.

More about Clean Cities Electric Vehicle Community Readiness Grants:

PEV Dialogue Initiative Publications and Tools

C2ES and its partners have published papers and created tools to help stakeholders enable a national PEV market. 

EV-Grid Integration Workshop

Representatives from state agencies, the electricity and charging industries, and non-profit organizations gathered for an in-person workshop held in Boston on February 20, 2014. The purpose of the workshop was to discuss the key issues around integrating PEVs with the electrical grid. The workshop was organized by the NESCAUM, with help from C2ES, ICCT, NRDC, and UC Davis. These five groups jointly produced a summary report that summarizes the recommendations and proceedings from the workshop.

 

Clean Cities Community Electric Vehicle Readiness 

The C2ES 2014 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 electric vehicles. 

 

PEV Action Tool

C2ES created the PEV Action Tool in 2013 to help state transportation departments understand their role in facilitating electric vehicle deployment. Learn more about the project here, including two in-person workshops C2ES conducted.

 

PEV Action Plan

Read the PEV Dialogue Group's 2012 Action Plan on integrating electric vehicles with the U.S. electrical grid.

C2ES wrote a comprehensive literature review on electric vehicles in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States for the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI). Funded through a U.S. Department of Energy grant, the literature review is a comprehensive look at the opportunities and challenges for electric vehicles in these states relying on the latest research and market data.

Read our 2011 literature review on electric vehicles with a focus on issues and solutions related to vehicle deployment and integration with the U.S. electrical grid.

Read our 2011 white paper on the state of play in the electric vehicle market.

 

Firsthand lessons on public charging for EVs

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My ride for the weekend: BMW’s first mass-produced all-electric vehicle.

Washington, D.C., is well-situated for day trips with mountains, forests, beach and bay all a short drive away. On a recent weekend, I was lucky enough to tool around in style. BMW lent me their new electric car – the i3 – and asked that I race it around the DC metro region. (Or perhaps that’s just how I heard them.)

The car handles beautifully the way you’d expect a BMW to, and proves there’s no performance tradeoff by going with an electric vehicle (EV). For most drivers, EVs like the i3 can accommodate daily driving needs. The average American only travels 30 miles per day. In particular, EVs are well suited for commuting because a driver can charge at home or the workplace. But day-tripping with an EV can take more planning and I learned firsthand that a robust public charging network is essential if EVs are to make more headway in the marketplace.

At C2ES, we often cite the importance of public charging stations to extend the range of EVs and give drivers confidence that an EV is a practical replacement for their conventional car. To allow EV drivers to travel as they would with a gasoline car, quick charging stations are needed along major roadways. Multiple, slower charging stations (referred to as Level 2) should be at key destinations to provide redundancy in case stations are in use or down for maintenance. Those are some of the conclusions of our new paper assessing the public charging infrastructure in Washington state and the same can be said of Washington, D.C.

Assessing the Electric Vehicle Charging Network in Washington State

Assessing the Electric Vehicle Charging Network in Washington State

September 2014

by Nick Nigro, Jason Ye, and Matt Frades

Download the full paper (PDF)

The Washington State Legislature is interested in exploring government’s role in fostering new business models that will expand the private sector commercialization of electric vehicle (EV) charging services. This paper provides an assessment of the existing EV publicly available charging network in Washington.

 

Jason Ye
Matt Frades
Nick Nigro
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Don't toss out the good electricity with the bad

One way to reduce power plant carbon emissions is to reduce the demand for electricity. Encouraging customer energy efficiency is one of the building blocks underpinning the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan. But the plan does not distinguish among uses of electricity. That means, without further options, the Clean Power Plan could inadvertently discourage states from deploying electric vehicles (EVs), electric mass transit, and other technologies that use electricity instead of a dirtier fuel.

In all but very coal-heavy regions, using electricity as a transportation fuel, especially in mass transit applications, results in the emission of far less carbon dioxide than burning gasoline. In industry, carbon emissions can be cut by using electric conveyance systems instead of diesel- or propane-fueled forklifts and electric arc furnaces instead of coal boilers.

Under the proposed power plant rules, new uses of electricity would be discouraged regardless of whether a state pursues a rate-based target (pounds of emissions per unit of electricity produced) or a mass-based target (tons of emissions per year).

EPA has a few options to make sure regulations for power plants would not discourage uses of electricity that result in less carbon emissions overall.

AFV Finance Initiative Publications and Tools

C2ES and its partners published papers and created tools for the AFV Finance Initiative. The initiative consisted of two projects:

Unlocking Private Sector Financing for Alternative Fuel Vehicles and Fueling Infrastructure

C2ES, in partnership with National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Program, began a two-year project in early 2013 to develop innovative finance strategies aimed at accelerating the deployment of AFVs and fueling infrastructure.

 

This guide addresses questions that private investors and state and local agencies may have about key considerations and strategies for deploying NGVs in public and private fleets.

This guide answers questions that private investors and state and local agencies, such as state energy offices, may have in deciding whether and to what extent they should invest in publicly available charging infrastructure.

When combined with other policies and incentives, publicly-supported financing programs, such as those offered through Clean Energy Banks (CEBs), could significantly accelerate deployment of EV charging infrastructure and facilitate EV market development. Read our report that details the range of financial tools available to CEBs and examines these tools’ potential to reduce barriers to EV infrastructure investment. The report also explores how lessons learned from existing CEBs and other relevant organizations could be applied to the EV charging market.

Innovative service contracts that incorporate features of the Energy Service Company (ESCO) business model could help reduce the barriers to vehicle fleet investment in natural gas vehicles (NGVs) and fueling infrastructure. Read our report that explains how ESCOs reduce barriers faced by energy efficiency and cost savings projects, demonstrates 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.

Read our white paper that examines how private financing can address the barriers to demand facing electric, natural gas, and hydrogen fuel cell AFVs 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 AFV market.

 

Business Models for Financially Sustainable EV Charging Networks

The Washington State Legislature’s Joint Transportation Committee selected C2ES to develop new business models to foster private sector commercialization of public EV charging services.

In May 2014, the Washington State Legislature’s Joint Transportation Committee commissioned a study to develop new business models that will foster private sector commercialization of publicly available EV charging services and expand the role of private sector investment in EV charging throughout the state.

The results of this new study demonstrate that, with continued public support and EV market growth in the near term, it is reasonable to expect the private sector to be able to be the predominant source of funding for publicly available commercial charging stations within approximately five years.

The EV Charging Financial Analysis Tool was developed by C2ES and the Cadmus Group to evaluate the financial viability of EV charging infrastructure investments involving multiple private and public sector partners.

Download the EV Charging Financial Analysis Tool to assess the financial viability of EV charging projects.

The Washington State Legislature was interested in exploring government’s role in fostering new business models that will expand the private sector commercialization of EV charging services. This paper provides an assessment of the existing EV publicly available charging network in Washington. 

 

About the AFV Finance Initiative

The Alternative Fuel Vehicle Finance (AFV) Initiative brought together key public and private stakeholders to use innovative finance mechanisms to help accelerate the deployment of AFVs and fueling infrastructure. C2ES is working with states around the country to develop new strategies for improving the business case for AFVs by leveraging small pubic investments or with new business arrangements.

Decreasing the transportation sector’s reliance on petroleum offers important economic, security, and environmental benefits for the United States. The nation’s dependence on foreign oil comes at a high price. In 2012, the U.S. transportation sector consumed 73 percent of the country’s petroleum supplies. Dependence on oil in transportation exposes the United States to price shocks largely beyond its control, since oil is a globally priced commodity. Researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory estimate that the total economic loss associated with oil dependence in the United States was $2.1 trillion from 2005 to 2010. These economic losses are due to oil price shocks and oil market influence by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). From an environmental perspective, motor vehicles are also responsible for half of smog-forming air pollutants, about 75 percent of carbon monoxide emissions, and more than 20 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

Most AFVs do not rely on petroleum, are more energy efficient than their conventional counterparts, and have lower or no tailpipe emissions. However, several barriers stand in the way of AFV and infrastructure deployment: market volatility, technological uncertainty, information failures, and regulatory hurdles and uncertainty. These barriers affect each fuel type differently. Recent large investments by the federal government in AFVs and other clean technologies will be winding down in the coming years. New private financing mechanisms are needed to fund these vehicles and associated infrastructure to enable wide-scale adoption.

C2ES worked with states to identify new ways to mobilize this private capital. The Initiative consisted of two projects defined below.

Unlocking Private Sector Financing for Alternative Fuel Vehicles and Fueling Infrastructure

C2ES, in partnership with National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Program, began a two-year project in early 2013 to develop new financial tools aimed at accelerating the deployment of AFVs and fueling infrastructure. C2ES assembled an advisory group of experts on AFVs, infrastructure, and finance from the public and private sectors to help guide its work. The project aimed to:

  • Identify barriers that hinder private sector investment;
  • Develop and evaluate innovative financing concepts for vehicle purchase and fueling infrastructure in order to make AFVs more accessible to consumers and fleet operators; and
  • Stimulate private-sector investment in AFVs and the associated infrastructure deployment, building upon and complementing previous public sector investments.

C2ES researched financial barriers, prepared case studies, and developed strategies that states can consider trying at the project’s conclusion:

The project specifically emphasized two fuels that offer significant opportunities for growth—electricity and natural gas. Biofuels were not considered because many government and private sector stakeholders are already facilitating the deployment of biofuel-powered vehicles. Vehicles powered by hydrogen were included, but they were not a major focus because hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are not yet widely available.

Click here to view publications for this project.

Business Models for Financially Sustainable EV Charging Networks

In May 2014, the Washington State Legislature’s Joint Transportation Committee selected C2ES to develop new business models to foster private sector commercialization of public EV charging services. First, C2ES assessed the state of EV charging in Washington and created useful products for the state to perform similar assessments as the market evolves. Second, drawing from its experience with the AFV Finance Initiative and similar activities, C2ES identified and evaluated business models for EV charging in the state. Finally, C2ES recommended ways the public sector can support those business models to maximize private sector investment in EV charging.

Click here to view publications for this project.

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.

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