If you are an elected leader or local government official considering establishing a Community Choice agency, or are on the governing board or staff of an emerging agency, consider “baking in” some early programs to support EVs. If you are on the governing board or staff of an operational agency that has not yet initiated any EV programs, keep reading!
There are many reasons, some obvious and some subtle, as to why Community Choice energy and Electric Vehicles are a great match.
- EVs use electricity, and Community Choice Agencies (CCAs) sell electricity. Therefore the more EVs are on the road and charging locally, the more power the CCA will sell, strengthening its fiscal sustainability.
- In most communities, transportation emissions are the #1 source of pollution and global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. If the mission of a CCA includes reducing emissions, then tackling transportation is essential. EVs are the fastest and least disruptive way to get the gasoline and diesel out of our transportation sector.
- The quickest path to reducing fossil fuel combustion is to electrify everything from home heating to transportation, and use renewable energy for electricity generation. As the grid gets cleaner, which it is doing at a steady pace, all electrical devices, including cars, get cleaner. By contrast, no matter how fuel-efficient a combustion vehicle is, it will continue to emit a consistent amount of GHGs per mile traveled until it is replaced, usually 10 to 20 years in the future.
- EVs offer a potential solution to the growing abundance of solar power available in mid-day. This power bulge, referred to as the “duck curve,” which also includes a steep rise in demand as the sun goes down and folks switch on power in the early evening, is a consequence of increased reliance on intermittent sources of energy that cannot be as conveniently timed with demand as a gas-fired power plant. Special EV rates and programs to incentivize daytime and/or workplace charging are on the way. Right now, smart chargers are available that can be programmed to begin charging only after that evening ramp is over and there is once again plenty of power from night-time wind to charge up the EVs. Eventually, electric vehicles, together with stationary battery storage, can serve as massive battery banks that can absorb excess energy when it is available, and release it back to the grid when needed. This technology is referred to as vehicle to grid (V2G) and in California, Vehicle-Grid Integration (VGI).