EV and grid policies move the transition along in New York and California

September 1st, 2017.  Excerpt from a piece by , originally published on EV Annex.

California EV sales rose 91 percent in the first quarter of 2017 from the same time last year. And, this week it was reported that electric cars now represent 5% of California’s new car sales.

  • The California Air Resources Board has reaffirmed its commitment to maintaining stronger vehicle emissions standards.
  • Volkswagen plans to invest $800 million to accelerate electrified transportation in California, with input from the California Air Resources Board.
  • Senate Bill 350 prioritizes widespread transportation electrification.
  • In Los Angeles, half of all municipal vehicle purchases will be electric starting this year, and that share will increase to 80 percent by 2025. The city is also moving forward with a pilot EV rideshare program to extend their benefits to communities with fewer car owners.

And, as part of Senate Bill 350, investor-owned utilities filed applications with the California Public Utilities Commission for investments in light-duty, medium-duty, and heavy-duty sectors. The utility plans in particular represent an exciting new opportunity to accelerate electric transportation in all its forms. With planned projects from placing charging infrastructure for passenger EVs in single family homes, to providing car dealers with incentives and education to sell more EVs, to electrifying buses and ship ports — and everything in between — these plans are well-designed to clean the sector most responsible for harmful emissions.

Above: California accounts for the lion’s share of US EV sales (Source: CleanTechnica)

New York

Earlier this year, New York State committed to the purchase of two thousand electric vehicles by 2025, more than doubling its current fleet of government automobiles. New York is also doing its share to expand electrification to make it easier for customers to buy and use electric vehicles. The State’s Reforming the Energy Vision aims to align utility needs with marketplace innovations, and is doing the following:

  • Decentralizing the electric grid so customers can make and buy renewable energy, New York is working toward a future where EVs and less pollution are commonplace.
  • Developing favorable electricity rates to encourage charging of EVs at times when renewable energy is readily available and affordable. This way, EV adoption will benefit the grid and the environment.

Con Edison’s Smart Charge NY program, an early stage effort in New York City, is paving the way for mainstream EV use; the results will be an example for how other cities can adopt the policies and tools necessary to seamlessly integrate EVs.

Above: Tesla Model X parked in New York City’s Time Square (Image: Top Gear)

Hopefully more states like California and New York will implement progressive programs to stay ahead of the curve. Meanwhile, “More and more automakers are shifting their focus to EVs, a market that is expected to grow faster every year.” One prime example: “Tesla invested $5 billion in its Nevada gigafactory—where they will make batteries for EVs—and is grabbing headlines with the roll-out of its first mass-market EV, the Model 3… [and] it gives a hint of a clean energy future that can’t come fast enough.”