By Gary Thomas
Northeast Group has released the second annual United States Smart Grid: Utility Electric Vehicle Tariffs (Volume II) study, which states that electricity tariffs specially created for electric vehicle (EV) recharging will drive the development of EVs.
At present, only 6% of electric utilities in the U.S. provide their customers with special EV tariffs and rates. The study benchmarks all of the EV tariffs launched to-date by utilities in the U.S.
The benchmark represents that EV tariffs have been introduced in 22 utilities throughout 11states by the end of the first half of 2012. EV tariffs are major criteria that will enable drivers to use more EVs with affordable recharging options.
During last year, new EV tariffs complemented the utilities in California, Arizona, Virginia, Indiana, and Michigan. EV tariffs were offered to 90% of Nevada, Hawaii, and Michigan residents and to 80% of California and Georgia residents. With increase in EV numbers, EV penetration rates will grow in states with utilities providing access to EV tariffs.
Northeast Group states that EV fueling cost represents from 10% to 60% like the cost of internal combustion engine vehicles, where electric vehicles are cost-effective to 'fuel' against conventional vehicles. Special EV tariffs will also promote cost-efficiency. EV tariffs will reduce half of the annual costs for EV owners.
EV tariffs provided by utilities will be structured in two main forms such as flat rate tariffs and time-of-use (TOU) tariffs. TOU tariffs offer economical overnight and off-peak rates for customers who recharge EVs. Flat rate tariffs offer fixed monthly fee charge. Sliding scale tariffs can integrate with both tariff structures above.
This study report is based upon the first volume of the EV tariff benchmark. The second volume represents the various EV tariff structures provided across the country, specific tariff structures, a list of utilities, comparison and further analysis of these tariffs.