Preparing for the Electric Vehicle Revolution
Top consumer smart energy news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
As electric vehicles (EVs) continue to hit growth milestones with each passing year (global sales doubled in 2021 according to the International Energy Agency), electric utilities are preparing for their arrival in a number of ways. In addition to grid modernization initiatives to ready the power grid, utilities are making considerable investments in charging infrastructure.
Enervee CEO Matthias Kurwig thinks energy-efficient appliances can be a powerful tool in combating climate change – if even cash-strapped households can replace broken-down washers, dryers, ovens or refrigerators with their preferred energy-efficient models as quickly and easily as possible. But most utility- and government-backed appliance upgrade programs aren’t quick or easy to navigate, he said.
According to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, by 2030, no matter where your home is located – remote, rural or urban – you will have greater access to EV chargers. Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the nation is investing $7.5 billion towards this initiative of “Electrifying Transportation to Benefit Every American.” Every American is a large demographic to target, which could make implementation difficult when considering electrifying transportation.
During its annual meeting last Wednesday, Duke Energy told shareholders the company made rapid progress during 2021 on its multi-year transition to clean energy sources. Duke Chair, President and CEO Lynn Good told investors the company has met or surpassed several milestones. A notable benchmark included the surpassing 10,000 MW of owned, operated or purchased renewables on the company’s system, putting the company on track to reach 16,000 MW of renewables by 2025 and 24,000 MW by 2030.
Connecticut’s electric vehicle rebate program is about to undergo an expansion and overhaul, one that will place a higher priority on equity. The reforms are part of the omnibus Connecticut Clean Air Act approved by lawmakers in the session that ended last week. Gov. Ned Lamont signed the bill into law Tuesday. The legislation significantly expands funding for the program, called the Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Purchase Rebate, or CHEAPR.
The California Public Utilities Commission last Thursday approved three vehicle-grid integration pilots, estimated to cost $11.7 million, for Pacific Gas & Electric Co. The programs will help the utility support electric vehicle deployment and bidirectional charging equipment — technology that regulators say will help provide backup power, build resiliency and lower the cost of EV ownership.
Here’s a question for discerning car shoppers – what’s more important, the sticker price or the monthly payments? For the 85 percent of Americans who finance their purchases of new cars, it’s how their monthly costs add up that really matters. And if you’re focusing on your monthly loan payments, why not also consider how much it costs to fuel and maintain your car every month, and bundle that into your calculations?
In the second year of its Smart Charge program, a demand response program focused on reducing stress on the energy grid by optimizing EV charging, DTE Energy announced that BMW has joined the effort. BMW adds another major car manufacturer to a program that already partners with Ford Motor Company and General Motors. In this, the companies will work with EV owners and DTE to reduce electricity use during periods of high demand.