Policy actions on EVs rose quarter to quarter, report says

May 18, 2021

by Peter Maloney
May 18, 2021

Forty-eight states and the District of Columbia took a total of 521 actions related to electric vehicles during the first quarter, an increase from the 461 actions taken by 47 states and D.C. in first-quarter 2020, according to a new report by the NC Clean Energy Technology Center.

Of the actions catalogued in the first quarter of this year, most, 133, were related to regulation, followed by 125 actions related to financial incentives, and 101 actions related to market developments.

Among the most notable actions taken, the report cited the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities’ approval of electric vehicle programs proposed by Atlantic City Electric and PSE&G New Jersey during the quarter. Atlantic City Electric’s program has a budget of $20.7 million. and PSE&G’s program has a budget of $166.2 million. Both programs include make-ready incentives for different customer types and demand charge alternatives for fast charging stations.

In Virginia, lawmakers passed two bills in March, one establishes an electric vehicle rebate program and an electric vehicle grant program, the other establishes an electric vehicle grant program. The rebate program begins in 2022 and provide rebates of at least $2,500 for the purchase of electric vehicles. Income-qualified residents will be eligible for an additional $2,000 rebate. The grant program provides awards on a competitive basis to school boards and non-profits to assist with the replacement of diesel school buses and vehicles with electric buses and vehicles.

The report also cited Colorado where the state’s Public Utilities Commission issued a decision in January approving Xcel Energy’s proposed transportation electrification plan that provides electric vehicle rebates program for low-income customers, residential home wiring rebates, a school bus electrification program, the development of utility-owned fast charging stations in underserved areas, utility deployment of charging stations for multi-family housing, and commercial charging rates, among other elements.

In Oklahoma, the report cited the state legislature’s bill adopting a tax of $0.03 per kilowatt hour (kWh) on the sale of electricity used to charge electric and hybrid vehicles. The tax begins in 2024 but will not apply to charging stations in service before November 2021, those with less than 50 kilowatts of capacity, or those that supply electricity free of charge, including private residential stations. The bill establishes a registration fee for electric vehicles and provides a tax credit for the amount of charging taxes paid.

In Kansas and North Dakota, the report noted that legislatures in those states passed bills allowing electric vehicle charging stations to resell electricity to the public without being classified as a public utility as long as the electricity used for vehicle charging is purchased from a retail electric supplier.

The actions in Oklahoma Kansas and North Dakota fit into a wider trend identified by the NC Clean Energy Technology Center. State lawmakers across the country have been considering fees on electric vehicles, primarily road usage fees based on miles traveled and taxes on electricity used for vehicle charging.

Legislatures in Georgia, Minnesota, and Nevada also considered taxes on electricity used for vehicle charging, while lawmakers in California, Minnesota, Missouri, and Washington introduced bills adopting road usage fees for electric vehicles. A bill under consideration in Montana would institute a trip-based fee for electric motor trucks and truck tractors licensed in another state. In addition, several states are considering registration fees for electric vehicles with Oklahoma and South Dakota recently adopting new fees.

The report also said several utilities filed proposals in the first quarter related to transportation electrification programs. In Kansas and Missouri, Evergy requested approval for transportation electrification portfolios including charging station rebates and new rates designed for business and transit charging.

Jersey Central Power & Light filed an EV Drive Program proposal that includes make-ready incentives, off-peak usage credits, and utility deployment of fast chargers.

Indianapolis Power & Light filed a petition for an electric vehicle portfolio involving a managed charging program and off-peak charging incentive.

And in Washington State, Avista Utilities filed an application for a series of programs, including utility deployment of residential and commercial charging stations, DC fast charger deployment, and new commercial charging rates.

The NC Clean Energy Technology Center is a chartered Public Service Center administered by the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University.