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CT EV Coalition Responds to DEEP EV Roadmap

This is the text of a letter that was sent to DEEP in response to the issuance of their EV Roadmap, which was published last month.

November 12, 2019

Commissioner Katie Dykes

Deputy Commissioner Vickie Hackett

CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection 79 Elm St.

Hartford, CT 0610 DEEP.EnergyBureau@ct.gov

Dear Commissioner Dykes and Deputy Commissioner Hackett:

Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments in response to DEEP’s October 11, 2019 Notice and Opportunity to Comment on its draft Electric Vehicle Roadmap for Connecticut (draft Roadmap). The Connecticut Electric Vehicle Coalition (the EV Coalition or EVC) is a diverse group of clean energy advocates and businesses, organized labor, and environmental justice groups that support policies that will put more electric vehicles (EVs) on the road in Connecticut to achieve significant economic, public health, and climate benefits for our state.

The Connecticut EV coalition strongly supports the state creating a more strategic and ambitious strategy on zero emission vehicle (ZEV) deployment, one of several key strategies that will help the state tackle climate change, improve the public health and air quality, as well as create economic development opportunities for the state.

The EV Coalition appreciates the significant work that went into developing the draft Roadmap and looks forward to working with the Department to finalize a product that will serve as a useful guide for stakeholders and the State in equitably achieving transportation sector emissions reductions consistent with Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) goals.

The transportation sector is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the State and responsible for the majority of smog-forming nitrogen oxide emissions. Connecticut will not achieve its GWSA commitments or achieve health-protective ambient air quality standards without significant electrification of transportation and reductions in vehicle miles traveled. To be effective, we believe that the Roadmap must strike the right balance between providing sufficient direction and avoiding over-prescription. The Roadmap should provide clear guidance to relevant market actors about expected roles and responsibilities and clarify both prioritization and timing for the recommendations in the document. At the same time, the Roadmap should eschew prescribing specific technologies, particularly given that technologies in the transportation sector are rapidly evolving and detailed specifications may become less appropriate over the duration of the Roadmap’s planning horizon.

With regard to prioritization, the Roadmap should clearly identify what needs to happen and when in order to ensure the state is on track to meet climate goals. The final Roadmap should include timeframes for its recommendations and identify high priority actions. As discussed further below, those high priority actions should include establishing aggressive public fleet electrification goals, including goals for transit fleets; conducting outreach to environmental justice communities to better understand local transportation and design electrified transportation solutions appropriate to each community; creation of a low-income EV rebate that is available for purchase of both new and used vehicles to help get more low-income residents into EVs; requiring the state’s utilities to develop electric rates that mitigate the impact that current demand charges have on deployment of fast-charging stations; recommending the adoption of EV-ready building codes so that all new construction is pre-wired for Level 2 EV charging; and recommending the elimination of the prohibition on direct sales of EVs in Connecticut, along with additional incentives for existing dealers to increase sales of EVs.

In prior comments, the EV Coalition urged DEEP to support its Roadmap with analysis of public charging infrastructure needs.1 We appreciate DEEP using the EVI Pro-Lite tool for this purpose in the draft Roadmap.2 DEEP should clarify, however, why the infrastructure need figures identified in the Roadmap using the EVI Pro-Lite tool differ from those provided in the final Governor’s Council on Climate Change recommendations,3 and include figures regarding the charging infrastructure needs for supporting 500,000 ZEVs in Connecticut in 2030. In addition, we urge DEEP to conduct sensitivities around key parameters (e.g., ratios of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to battery electric vehicles, distributions of battery ranges across the vehicle fleet, and availability of home charging) to better understand ranges of public and workplace Level 2 (L2) and DC Fast Charging (DCFC) plug needs for 2030.

Recommendations regarding Equity:

The draft Roadmap minimally addresses equity and environmental justice issues. We commend the acknowledgement to prioritize these communities, but believe the final Roadmap needs to go further. Connecticut’s current transportation sector favors the single-occupancy vehicle and trucks. Low-income and minority communities are often among the worst affected by air pollution caused by these vehicles, affecting their respiratory and cardiovascular systems, and the environments in which they live. Any further action to electrify the state’s transportation sector needs to address outstanding equity issues. While the policies noted below are addressed within our comments on the relevant sections of the draft Roadmap, we present them below for emphasis.

Connecticut should provide incentives for the purchase of older model EV’s in order to expand the option of an EV purchase to low and moderate-income households. Currently, our EV rebates only apply to the sale or lease of a new EV, this should be altered to include a low- income rebate applicable to both new and used EVs so lower-income households can take advantage of the program.

In addition, a minimum percentage of the benefits of electrified transportation programs should be established for environmental justice communities and state-identified Economic Opportunity Zones. In addition to the types of community-specific programs intended to identify electrified solutions to the specific transportation needs of these communities (discussed below), it may be appropriate to carve out a percentage of EV charging stations to be sited in environmental justice communities particularly in areas where residents shop, work, and attend school and church.

Since public transportation is more widely used in low-income and minority communities the Roadmap should also prioritize the need for more electric buses and school buses. Electric buses do double-duty – they reduce emissions and take cars off the road, lessening Connecticut’s road congestion problems.

With the proper mix of EV charging stations, EV rebates, and electric buses, we can ensure that the Roadmap properly acknowledges our most overburdened and underserved communities.

Recommendations regarding Public and Private Fleets:

 While public fleets comprise only a small fraction of total vehicles in Connecticut, they are ideally designed for the state to truly “lead by example.” Studies show that increasing consumer awareness and familiarity with electric vehicles is important in influencing consumer purchasing decisions. Public fleets are one of the areas where Connecticut has the greatest direct control over the rate of vehicle electrification and creates opportunities to (1) increase direct EV driving experience with state employees and (2) increase the public visibility of EVs on our roads.

The current recommendation regarding the state fleet in the draft Roadmap—that the state “should consider setting targets for annual EV procurement for the state fleet, beginning with the goal of 5 percent of state vehicle in the first year”—is too weak: The state must set aggressive targets for electrifying public fleet vehicles.

Section 93 of Public Act 19-117,4 establishes several targets for EV deployment within the state fleet, which should inform the recommendation in the EV Roadmap.

  • PA 19-117 requires, beginning January 1, 2030, that at least 50 percent of cars and light-duty trucks, and 30 percent of buses, purchased or leased for the state fleet to be “zero-emission.”
    • In light of the state’s express policy of reducing GHG emissions and need to reduce other air pollutants, we urge the state to go beyond the minimums established by the legislature and adopt a policy of procuring 100 percent zero-emission vehicles where such vehicles meet the performance needs for which they will be used, leading to stronger public fleet commitments: with a goal of ensuring that at least 50 percent of the cars and light-duty trucks and 30 percent of transit buses in the State’s fleet are zero-emission by 2030.
  • PA 19-117 expands the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) commissioner’s annual legislative reporting requirements to include a procurement plan that aligns with these state fleet requirements and a feasibility assessment for the state’s purchase or lease of zero-emission medium and heavy-duty trucks; and
    • In alignment with the policy recommendation above, the feasibility analysis should be limited to the ability of commercially-available zero-emission vehicles to meet the performance needs required by the state. Any cost-benefit analysis should include estimated fueling and maintenance costs over the full useful life of the vehicle.
  • PA 19-117 requires the DAS commissioner to study the feasibility of creating a competitive bid process for procurement of zero-emission vehicles and buses, and authorizes the commissioner to proceed if it would achieve cost savings.
    • The final EV Roadmap should encourage DAS to explore this option, as well as the possibility of joint procurement opportunities with municipalities and other

Regarding DEEP’s recommendation to update and publish guidelines for the installation of EVSE at state-owned facilities and public and private EV charging stations, DEEP has the authority to do this, and we encourage the agency to move forward with this activity. Using its ability to “lead by example,” state-owned and operated facilities should adopt minimum percentage charging requirements for parking areas, and such requirements should be included within all state-funded school construction projects. DEEP promoted similar recommendations to be included within the state building code for new residential and commercial construction, and these recommendations should establish the floor for state-owned and operated buildings.

Connecticut should support and incentivize electrification of private fleets by: (1) working with private actors and utilities to provide advisory services to fleet owners considering electrification; (2) developing rebates or incentives to support associated charging infrastructure needs; and (3) requiring utilities to develop rate designs that mitigate the impact of demand charges.

Recommendations regarding EVs beyond LDVs:

We strongly support incentives to electrify MDV and HDV. Connecticut should look to New York’s truck voucher incentive program5 to identify ways to incentivize purchases of cleaner, electric MDV and HDV.

While we encourage including fleet conversion to EVs as part of the electric utilities’ distribution system planning, DEEP should recognize that private fleet charging depots will likely need to be sited on-premises, so it may not be possible to target underutilized electric distribution circuits for fleet charging depots.

Accordingly, we should not let load decisions be the sole determinant in driving our EV infrastructure decisions. While it is clear that there are potential benefits from using EVs as a source of load smoothing and energy storage, the EV Roadmap should prioritize infrastructure investment where such investments will meet EV demand and benefit local communities. The goal should be to develop a comprehensive plan for building out our charging infrastructure in a manner that maximizes the combined, total benefits of increased EV deployment.

As noted in the GC3’s December 2018 Report, some of the largest GHG reductions from the transportation sector are likely to be achieved by increased investment in EV buses6, and these investments will likely be in our largest cities and most heavily-trafficked transportation corridors. While these are likely not areas with excess distribution capacity, nevertheless this is one critical area where investment must be made. The electric distribution companies (EDCs) should provide location-specific maps where excess distribution capacity exists so they may be evaluated against other criterial that would support investment in EV charging infrastructure.

Additionally, EV time-of-use rates can be an effective mechanism for shifting vehicle charging to off-peak times when the distribution system may be otherwise underutilized.

With respect to the pending California Advance Clean Trucks rule, we encourage Connecticut to continue to develop policies that leverage California’s authority to enact stringent motor vehicle emissions standards and polices beyond the floor established by the federal government. We should not pause our efforts pending the outcome of the current federal lawsuit, but rather position ourselves to act quickly when the court rules in favor of California and Section 177 states, including Connecticut.

Recommendations regarding Expanding EV Charging Infrastructure:

  1. Building codes and permitting requirement recommendations

To encourage widespread adoption of EVs to meet Connecticut’s GHG reduction goals, policies must support the necessary infrastructure build-out to encourage consumer confidence with respect to “range anxiety” and support public education regarding EV technology. One critical component is expanding EV charging infrastructure, particularly in settings that vehicle purchasers cannot directly control (e.g., charging in public and semi-public/workplace settings, charging at multi-unit dwellings). It is also critical that new construction be capable of supporting EV charging infrastructure so that charging stations can be cost-effectively added as the need for them grows.

There is widespread consensus that the best time to prepare a location for the future installation of EV charging infrastructure is during the initial construction, rather than post-construction retrofitting. A recent analysis by Energy Solutions for the California Electric Transportation Coalition (CalETC) found that installing EV ready parking spaces during a building retrofit can save four to six times the cost of a standalone installation.7

The EV Coalition strongly supports the adoption of EV-ready building codes. DEEP must be an active participant in the adoption of updated building codes to ensure the necessary accessibility to EV charging as market penetration of EVs increases. To that end, DEEP should support adoption of EV-ready legislation through provision of templates for use in municipal building codes and zoning ordinances. The State has been presented with the opportunity to support EV-ready construction and has so far failed to act. The Code Adoption subcommittee of the State Codes and Standards Committee recently declined to adopt “EV ready” standards for new residential and commercial construction, citing increased cost and the relatively low number of EVs currently registered in Connecticut. This narrow view fails to adequately take into account the cost of building retrofits to accommodate charging infrastructure, as well as the clear market and industry signals regarding the future trajectory of EV adoption nationwide. The State must take this opportunity to support EV-ready infrastructure and enable Connecticut to lead the way toward an emissions-free transportation sector.

Additionally, local zoning requirements must not act as a barrier to deploying EV infrastructure in residential or commercial structures. Rather, requirements should encourage expansion of EV-ready infrastructure. Parking requirements must take into account the need to support a minimum level of EV charging spaces, as appropriate for the particular building structure. At a minimum DEEP should support building codes that mandate 10 percent of spaces be pre-wired for EV charging. Relating to ADA requirements, the Codes committee need not establish new ADA-compliant requirements; rather, the committee needs only to clarify how EV charging stations should comply with existing ADA requirements.

We support DEEP’s recommendation to consolidate permitting for Level 2 EVSE and DCFC installations. Such permitting would be better streamlined if: (1) applications could be submitted electronically and (2) a schedule of permit prices were published.

  1. Siting recommendations

While grid impacts should be minimized if and when possible, that should not be the sole determining factor in site selection. Rather, demand and transportation needs should be allowed to shape charging infrastructure location.

  1. Public charging infrastructure ownership recommendations

The EV Coalition supports DEEP’s recommendation that EDCs be permitted to rate-base make-ready investments in EV supply equipment in appropriate contexts. Utilities are uniquely positioned to encourage development of public EV charging infrastructure. DEEP should advocate in the PURA docket a clear expectation that utilities will submit proposals to support deployment of public EV charging stations.

As discussed further in other sections of these comments, carve-outs to ensure a percentage of EV charging stations are located in low-income and underserved communities are well-intentioned, but may not be the best way to support the transportation needs of these communities. The objective should be to improve access to clean, electrified transportation options that also improve public health, rather than proportional deployment of EV charging stations. Investments in low-income and underserved communities must be tailored to their specific transportation needs. For example, investments in electrified car or ride-sharing services or electrified transit buses may be more beneficial than charging infrastructure for certain communities. Community-specific assessments are necessary to determine the transportation needs of different communities.

Recommendations regarding Consumer Charging Experience, Interoperability, Pricing Transparency, and Future Proofing:

Fostering a positive consumer charging experience is critical to the successful transition to EVs in Connecticut. The challenge in addressing consumer experience through recommendations in the Roadmap is that, because technology is evolving so rapidly in this space, there are risks about being too prescriptive about specific technologies. As noted throughout these comments, the Roadmap should avoid dictating specific technological requirements.

For example, with regard to the proposed requirement that new electrical infrastructure installed at publicly funded DCFC stations be capable of supporting 150 kW charging stations or greater, we appreciate the intent of ensuring future-proofing of investments. However, the Roadmap should be crystal clear that this requirement pertains to the EVSE and not to the chargers themselves. In other words, the “make ready” infrastructure should be future-proofed to support the eventual installation of at least 150kW, but it does not make sense at this time to require actual installation of 150 kW chargers at every DCFC location. With regard to forms of payment, rather than prescribing specific requirements, it is preferable to defer to the existing statutory requirements on this issue found in C.G.S. § 16-19ggg.

With regard to signage and other standardization of charging experience, regional cooperation in this area is important as the region is relatively small with a large amount of cross-border traffic. Driver confusion regarding the availability of charging stations in neighboring states will negatively impact public perception and consumer adoption of EVs.

Finally, we support the draft Roadmap’s recommendation to establish a fine for ICE-ing and authorize state and municipal police and parking enforcement authorities to ticket vehicles in

violation of the law. This is low-hanging fruit and should be adopted. EV charging stations need to be available for EV drivers when needed.

Recommendations regarding Residential and Workplace Charging:

We support adoption of a right-to-charge law prohibiting Multi-Unit Dwellings (MUDs) and condominium associations from restricting lessees or condo owners with designated parking spaces from installing EV charging equipment and associated metering. Relevant stakeholders (e.g., condo owners) should be involved in the legislative process. In other jurisdictions this has led to common-sense approaches that were widely supported.

We further support DEEP’s efforts to ensure that the PURA docket evaluates and addresses approaches to manage EV load, which can take the form of rate design and/or managed charging or demand response programs. Technology needs to be able to support load management.

DEEP should adopt policies to encourage workplace charging in a manner that is technology-neutral and future-proofs these investments. For example, new infrastructure should be able to support L2 charging. The installation cost for L2 wiring is similar to the installation cost of L1 wiring. Thus, there is little value add to wiring only to support L1 charging.

Recommendations regarding Rate Design:

Rate design can be an effective tool for helping to manage EV load, and will be increasingly important as the number of EVs charging in Connecticut continues to increase. We agree with DEEP that if EV-only rates are going to be implemented, it is critical that they not require an additional revenue-grade meter, the cost of which is likely to cancel out the potential savings that an EV owner could accrue through off-peak charging. There are multiple alternatives to second meters to measure the EV component of household load. It can be measured using the embedded metering in smart, networked L2 chargers and advanced household meters that can parse load and identify the EV-specific component. We anticipate that EV load will soon be able to be measured through the communications capabilities of the vehicles themselves. The EV Roadmap should endorse the development of rate designs, including EV-only rate designs, that will help manage EV load. But in light of the rapid technological advances occurring, it is important that the Roadmap not be overly prescriptive about technologies through which EV-only rates can be implemented. The Roadmap should call for the utilities to be taking a proactive role and taking responsibility for managing EV load.

In addition to being a tool for managing EV load, rate design can be critical to removing barriers to deployment of DCFC stations. Demand charges are a major barrier to deployment of public (non-fleet) DCFC. As analyzed by RMI in the context of EVgo’s charging station fleet in California,8 particularly at low levels of utilization, demand charges can swamp volumetric charges under traditional commercial demand rates, thereby undercutting the business case for private installation of DCFC. Demand charges can also pose a barrier to fleet charging, including for depot charging of transit buses. Developing rate designs that address this barrier is critical to enabling deployment of electric transit buses in the state.

The concept of Eversource’s Rate Rider (which shifts the demand charge into the volumetric charge)9, is well-intentioned, but the current language of the Rate Rider is vague and confusing. There are good examples around the country of modifications to traditional demand charges that send appropriate price signals to station owners such as the recently-approved PG&E throughput-based subscription fee approach.10 Ultimately, we recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to designing alternatives to traditional, demand-based rate structures. Each utility will need to design a rate that works best for its service territory. Regardless of the manner by which utilities address this challenge, their respective solutions should (1) be equitable and available to all DCFC, both existing and new, and (2) address the challenge through a predictable, transparent, and sustainable rate design, rather than a short-term incentive.

Recommendations regarding Innovation:

We appreciate the enthusiasm in the draft Roadmap for vehicle to grid (V2G) technology.

In the long term, when EVs are widespread, it will be valuable to be able to harness the stored energy in the batteries of parked vehicles. However, we do not believe that V2G should be identified as a high priority in the final Roadmap. Rather, it is critical in the near term to develop strategies for effective unidirectional smart charging (V1G) management of new EV load.

Recommendations regarding Leveraging Incentives to Promote Equitable, Affordable EV Adoption—CHEAPR Program:

The CHEAPR program has the potential to greatly boost EV adoption. Indeed, studies and modeling show that rebates that reduce the up-front purchase price of vehicles are a strong driver of EV adoption.11 Based on modeling that Synapse Energy Economics conducted for the Sierra Club in New York, it may be valuable to increase the sizing of the CHEAPR rebate for battery electric vehicles.12 Ultimately, the incentives should be sized such that the CHEAPR incentive, in addition to other federal and state incentives, is projected to put Connecticut on track to meet its transportation sector GHG commitments.

Additionally, the CHEAPR program will need to be scaled up to achieve 500,000 ZEVs on Connecticut roads by 2030 in order for the state to meet its climate goals.13 To that end, CHEAPR will need a large and sustainable source of funding. DEEP should explore the possibility of utilizing the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) as a funding source for the CHEAPR program.

DEEP should also evaluate the merits of a low-income adder to the rebate in conjunction with other potential strategies to promote access to EVs for low-income and underserved communities, and extending the low-income rebate to the purchase of used vehicles. One alternative that warrants further consideration is a “cash for clunkers” program similar to what California and British Columbia have developed.

Finally, the EV Roadmap should recommend elimination of the current prohibition on direct sales of EVs, which is stifling sales of EVs in the state. The models that comprise the majority of national EV sales are not being sold in Connecticut. At the same time, the Roadmap should recommend additional incentives for existing auto dealers to increase their sales of EVs. More outreach to dealers regarding the existing CHEAPR dealer incentive is needed, given low levels of awareness by dealers, and additional incentives should be explored, such as: state reimbursement of the percentage of dealership local property tax equal to the percentage of EVs sold by the dealer each year, to a cap of 50%; state waiver of state income tax on all staff salaries based on percentage of EVs sold, to a cap of 50%; reimbursement of 100% of EV charging infrastructure and charging electricity costs at all CT dealer locations; free training for all CT dealers in EV sales using the PlugStarDealer.com program or a similar program; and/or higher CHEAPR rebates for all dealer cars used as service loaners and company cars.

Recommendations regarding Education and Outreach:

We support a coordinated approach to education and outreach among state actors and support a role for utilities and OEMs.

Connecticut should continue to support and participate in the regional Drive Change Drive Electric (DCDE) campaign and the Destination Electric Program to build upon and increase consumer awareness in the state and the region. We support the partnership framework among automobile manufacturers and state governments of the DCDE Campaign. While the campaign provides good web-based resources for learning about electric vehicles, there may be additional opportunities for proactive outreach and promotion. Such opportunities include cross-linking with other relevant state (such as DMV) and municipal (particularly for the Destination Electric program) websites.

We agree that OEMs should (and must) be active participants in advertising and marketing EVs in Connecticut, leveraging their years of experience in promoting conventional vehicles. Among the roles OEMs can play:

  • Creation of informational and marketing materials for dealerships. While we assume that OEMs currently do this to some extent, we recommend an expansion of these efforts targeted to EV
  • Providing additional dealer incentive for EV
  • Providing supplemental consumer rebates for EV Purchases. For example, Nissan has partnered with the CT Green Bank to provide an additional manufacturer incentive of between $2,500 and $5,000 for the purchase of a Nissan Leaf.
  • Providing well-promoted community “Ride and Drive” events, in partnership with the state, municipalities, and local businesses.

As noted above, we strongly support the recommendation to conduct focused outreach in underserved communities to inform the development of integrated approaches for deploying electrified transportation services strategically and addressing barriers to EV ownership by low- income households. We emphasize that the deployment of electrified transportation services should be informed by community priorities with respect to the type of services desired, whether that is increased access to light-duty EVs to replace older, unreliable personal transportation or the deployment of more electric buses and other clean transit options, with increased convenience and affordability.

Recommendations regarding Funding Mechanisms to Support Sustainable Incentive and EV Infrastructure Programs—VW EVSE:

VW EVSE expenditures should be coordinated with the utility programs that arise from the PURA ZEV docket.14 DEEP should focus on ensuring that key market segments, such as MUD L2, public transit corridor DCFC, and in-town DCFC, are being addressed.

A portion of the VW funding should be earmarked to support access to electrified transportation for communities that bear an outsize share of transportation emissions. DEEP should conduct outreach into these communities to better understand transportation needs and use VW EVSE funds to support charging infrastructure for transportation programs that will meet these needs (for example, communities that could be better served by car or rideshare programs). This is preferable to simply deploying a percentage of stations in overburdened communities.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

The Connecticut Electric Vehicle Coalition

  • Acadia Center*
  • Connecticut Fund for the Environment*†
  • Connecticut Green Buildings Council
  • Connecticut Nurses Association
  • Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs*
  • Connecticut Citizen Action Group
  • ConnPIRG
  • Conservation Law Foundation
  • ChargePoint*
  • Chispa-CT*
  • Clean Water Action*
  • CT League of Conservation Voters
  • CT 350
  • Drive Electric Cars New England
  • Eastern CT Green Action
  • Electric Vehicle Club of Connecticut*
  • Energy Solutions, LLC
  • Environment Connecticut*
  • Greater New Haven Clean Cities Coalition,
  • Hamden Land Conservation Trust
  • Hartford Climate Stewardship Council
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers*
  • Interreligious Eco-Justice Network
  • New Haven Climate Movement
  • Northeast Clean Energy Council
  • People’s Action for Clean Energy
  • Proton OnSite
  • Plug In America*
  • RENEW Northeast
  • Sierra Club*†
  • Solar Connecticut,
  • Tesla,
  • Union of Concerned Scientists

* Connecticut EV Coalition Steering Committee Membership

Footnotes:

1 CT EV Coalition Feb. 21, 2019 Cmts at 2.

2 Draft Roadmap at 20.

3 Governor’s Council on Climate Change, Building a Low Carbon Future for Connecticut 29-30 (December 18, 2018).

4 An Act Concerning the State Budget for the Biennium Ending June 20, 2021, and Making Appropriations Therefor, and Provisions Related to Revenue and Other Items to Implement the State Budget.

5 See NYSERDA, New York Truck Voucher Incentive Program, available at https://www.nyserda.ny.gov/All- Programs/Programs/Truck-Voucher-Program.

6 See Governor’s Council on Climate Change, Building a Low Carbon Future for Connecticut (December 18, 2018).

7 Energy Solutions, Plug-In Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Cost Analysis Report for CALGreen Nonresidential Update (September 16, 2019), available at: https://caletc.com/energy-solutions-report-finds-that-increasing-the- number-of-electric-vehicle-capable-parking-spaces-at-new-buildings-and-adding-ev-capable-parking-spaces-to- existing-buildings-when-undergoing-certain/.

8 Rocky Mountain Inst., EVgo Fleet and Tariff Analysis Phase 1: California (Apr. 2017).

9 Available at https://www.eversource.com/content/docs/default-source/rates-tariffs/ev-rate- rider.pdf?sfvrsn=e44ca62_0.

10 See PG&E, PG&E Proposes to Establish New Commercial Electric Vehicle Rate Class (Nov. 5, 2018), available at       https://www.pge.com/en/about/newsroom/newsdetails/index.page?title=20181105_pge_proposes_to_establish_new

_commercial_electric_vehicle_rate_class; PG&E, PG&E’s Commercial Electric Vehicle Rate (Nov. 20, 2018), available at https://caltransit.org/cta/assets/File/Webinar%20Elements/WEBINAR-PGE%20Rate%20Design%2011- 20-18.pdf.

11 Studies have found a significant increase in EV sales with the implementation of rebates among low- and moderate-income households. Scott Hardman, The Effectiveness of Financial Purchase Incentives for Battery Electric V9ehicles, 80 Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 1110 (2017), https://phev.ucdavis.edu/wp- content/uploads/2017/09/purchase-incentives-literature-review.pdf.

12 Synapse Energy Economics, Inc., Transforming Transportation in New York: Roadmaps to a Transportation Climate Target for 2035 (September 2019).

13 See Governor’s Council on Climate Change, Building a Low Carbon Future for Connecticut 28 (December 18, 2018).

14 PURA Docket No. 17-12-03RE04.

† To whom correspondence should be directed. Josh Berman, Sierra Club. Email Josh.Berman@sierraclub.org or phone (202) 650-6062. Charles Rothenberger, Connecticut Fund for the Environment. Email crothenberger@ctenvironment.org or phone (203) 787-0646, x122.




A Cheaper CHEAPR

CHEAPR lowers incentives for BEVs and PHEVs, Changes MSRP Cap

After this blog put up a detailed update on CHEAPR 2 weeks ago, the date at which the replenishment of funds mandated by the legislature took effect, we have learned that incentive levels and criteria have changed as of today (Oct. 15).

The max MRSP has been lowered to $42,000 from $50,000 for PHEVs and BEVs. The max MSRP for FCEVs (fuel cell) has been raised to $60,000. This resolves the conflict created by the earlier, poorly thought out, cap in that there are virtually no FCEVs available under $50K.

Incentives for PHEVs are now $500, no matter the electric range. Previously, PHEVs with 45+ miles of electric range were eligible for $1000.

There are now 2 categories of BEV incentive, down from 3. These are 200+ miles and <200 miles. They are eligible for $1500 and $500, respectively. The old categories were 200+ ($2000), 120 – 199 miles ($1500), and <120 miles ($500).

The incentive for FCEV remains at $5000 irrespective of range (and the range across these vehicles varies quite a lot).




Free of Charge

As in charging your EV for free!

As reported in Elecktrek, the charging station company, Volta, announced the upcoming installation of 150 level 3 DC fast-charging stations nationally with no fee-charging for the first 30 minutes (equates to roughly 175 miles). The first of these will be local, in Norwalk, CT, at the new mall that we’ve all seen under construction near as we’re sitting in traffic near exit 15 of I-95.

The mall is called The SoNo Collection and the scheduled opening is October 9th. So by the time you see this blog post, it should be ready to go.

Volta uses the CCS standard.

The article that we’ve linked to has all of the details, but we think it’s pretty cool that free EV charging is being used by businesses to attract customers. Also, the charging stations carry advertisements, and from their website, we see that media sales revenue is part of the company’s business model.

Their slogan, as can be seen in the photo above, is “Fast is Now Free.”




CHEAPR Replenishment

CHEAPR Update

Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Purchase Rebate, in case you were wondering, is what the acronym stands for. CHEAPR has been with us for a while now. It was passed in 2015 and has handed out 5267 rebates (through August 31), totaling over $10 million for the purchase of fuel-efficient EVs. (There were 10,797 EVs registered in the state as of July 1, so it sure seems like it has been a factor.)

If you go on the program’s website today (Oct. 1), it indicates that there is only $60,958 in remaining funds. But HB 7205, passed in the 2019 legislative session, authorizes a replenishment due to take effect today, which will hopefully be reflected soon, and which funds the program through 2025.

Keep in mind, CHEAPR is a rebate. It is not a tax-credit like the Federal incentive, and there are no manufacturer sales caps. The rebate is more consumer-friendly in our view.

Current Incentive Levels

CHEAPR standards have changed over time. The basic idea of the rebate size being driven by zero-emissions range is still present, but as cars have changed, so have the criteria. This is the current incentive breakdown:

CT EV purchase incentives

As the chart indicates, incentives are available for plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV), battery electric vehicles (BEV), and fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEV). The implication is that FCEVs have much greater range than a BEV. That isn’t entirely the case. A Tesla Model 3 has up to a 310-mile range, Chevy Bolt gets 238 miles, Hyundai Kona is rated at 258. There are two FCEVs currently registered in the state. Both are Toyota Mirais, rated 312 miles. The other two FCEVs that we are aware of are the Hyundai Tucson (265 miles), and the FCEV version of the Honda Clarity (366 miles). There were no rebates given for either of the FCEVs.  (It is also hard to find one within the price cap.) We’re not entirely sure about the consistency here, but range is the stated principle.

The amount of incentive given for a lease may not be as straightforward as it gets folded into the mathematics of the lease payment calculation by the dealer. As the saying goes, your mileage may vary.

Many CT dealers are interconnected with the DMV/CHEAPR and will handle the paperwork. They often just take the incentive off the price of the vehicle they deliver. It saves the work of filing for the rebate, but we recommend carefully reviewing the invoice with the dealer in order to accurately set expectations regarding the price.

Price Cap

There are other requirements associated with CHEAPR. Eligible vehicles must have an MSRP below $50,000. (Originally, the cap was set at $60,000.) This makes ineligible a number of expensive EV entrants such as the Tesla Models S and X, Jaguar i-Pace, Audi e-Tron, and others. The Tesla Model 3 is eligible for the lower trim levels. It is possible to get the long-range (310-mile) Model 3 for under $50,000. We expect there to be trim levels of the forthcoming Model Y that will also be eligible, based upon what we see on the Tesla website. With respect to the FCEVs, the Honda Clarity base trim price is $59,365, Toyota Mirai is $59,430, Hyundai Tucson – $50,875 (FCEV base prices are from Car and Driver). Based on these MSRPs, it would appear they would all be too expensive to qualify, but they are listed as eligible on the CHEAPR website. We are only aware of the availability of these vehicles via lease. If you’re going that route, it seems prudent to verify the eligibility before concluding the transaction.

Once Only

Unlike the Federal tax credit, which is associated with each vehicle, the CHEAPR rebate is tied to the person receiving it. This rebate can be claimed one time only. It can be used for multiple vehicles if different (licensed) members of the household are the registrant. Pro-tip: Don’t co-sign for a vehicle because you will both get dinged for the use of the rebate.

Where Can You Buy It

In order to be eligible, it is required that the vehicle be purchased from a dealer doing business in CT. (The dealer gets a little taste, too.) If you buy that Chevy Bolt from a dealer out of state and transfer the registration, you will not get the rebate.  The exception to this is Tesla, which does not have dealers, and which has been barred by CT law from opening stores in the state. But the Model 3 trim levels that are below the price cap are eligible and Tesla will work with you on the admin.

New vs Used

This incentive applies to the purchase or lease of a new vehicle only. There is language in HB 7205 (line 142) authorizing DEEP to set income and incentive thresholds for purchases of used vehicles. We contacted DEEP for clarification and were advised that the rules as stated on their website are what govern eligibility, and these rules state, specifically, new vehicles only.

This is the link to the CHEAPR website. It lists all of the eligible vehicles as well as the rules and program stats.




Governor Lamont Proclamation on Drive Electric Week

This is the official proclamation from the office of the Governor declaring the week of September 14-22 to be Drive Electric Week and highlighting the benefits that moving to EVs will have on emission reduction and public health.

Drive Electric Week, Governor Lamont

The EV Coalition of CT has issued its own press release that highlights some specific actions occurring to support the effort to lower transportation emission levels and provide info on other local NDEW events.

Connecticut Electric Vehicle Coalition applauds Governor Lamont for proclaiming September 2019 as Electric Vehicle Month

Hartford, Conn. – The Connecticut Electric Vehicle Coalition is thrilled that Governor Ned Lamont, an electric vehicle (EV) owner himself, has recognized the significant environmental and economic benefits of EVs, as well as the necessity of widespread adoption, by proclaiming September 2019 as Electric Vehicle Month and September 14-22 as Drive Electric Week in Connecticut.

“While Washington, D.C., chips away at clean air and climate policies, Connecticut will do the necessary work to address climate change. That is why I have proclaimed September 2019 as Electric Vehicle Month in Connecticut,” Governor Ned Lamont said. “We must rapidly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to meet Global Warming Solutions Act mandates—and with transportation as the largest source of greenhouse gas pollution, it’s the perfect place to start. Nearly 40% of our pollution comes from transportation, especially with so many of our roadways congested, leading to cars idling, and it contributes to health complications across the state and environmental injustices in our cities. By building public awareness of EV benefits, growing Connecticut’s network of charging stations, and generating our electricity with clean renewable sources, we can breathe easier knowing we are doing everything to combat our climate crisis.”

The Global Warming Solutions Act mandates Connecticut reduce carbon emissions 45 percent by 2030. To meet that goal, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) projects that 500,000 passenger cars will need to be electric by 2030, and the Governor’s Council on Climate Change calls for electrification of 30 percent of the statewide fleet of buses and commercial trucks by 2030. Attaining these targets will require rapid growth over the next decade—Connecticut will need about 40% average annual fleet growth to achieve the 500,000 electric vehicle goal.

During the spring 2019 legislative session, policymakers stepped up to the plate and funded $3 million per year for the state’s EV rebate program (CHEAPR), and also directed the state to purchase a minimum level of EVs for the state fleet. Governor Lamont’s first Executive Order, issued on April 24, 2019, includes the state fleet as one of seven areas targeted for emission reductions.

The Public Utility Regulatory Authority (PURA) began work on grid-side system enhancements to integrate heavy-duty electric vehicle fleets earlier in the year, the state’s Codes and Standards Committee is evaluating adoption of an “EV-ready” construction standard for new residential and commercial buildings, and DEEP is developing an EV Roadmap to identify policies, programs, and strategies that the State of Connecticut should pursue to optimize deployment of electric vehicles and associated infrastructure. The Roadmap is expected out this month.

Additional utility revenue from EV charging can support operation and maintenance of the existing electric distribution infrastructure, thus reducing the need for future electricity rate increases. EV growth also provides economic benefits, shifting electric grid revenue back to our region that would otherwise go towards dirty fossil fuels purchased elsewhere. It creates local jobs for skilled workers in infrastructure installation and maintenance, stimulating local economies and generating tax revenue for the state. In addition to these consumer and economic benefits, electric vehicle expansion leads to energy independence, as Connecticut EV drivers are unaffected by fluctuating gas prices and spend less money on imported petroleum products. It is estimated that by 2050, if EV targets are met, Connecticut ratepayers will save $500 million on their electric bills and $1.9 billion in vehicle operating costs.

###

The Connecticut Electric Vehicle Coalition is a diverse group of clean energy advocates and businesses, community justice organizations, labor unions, and local businesses that work together to advance policies that will build out electric vehicle infrastructure and put more electric vehicles on the road in Connecticut. The combination of these two goals will achieve significant economic, health, and climate benefits for the State.

What the Connecticut Electric Vehicle Coalition members are saying:

“With a huge proportion of dirty carbon emissions coming from the transportation sector, we must accelerate the expansion of electric vehicles in Connecticut in order to keep our climate commitments,” says Charles Rothenberger, Climate and Energy Attorney for Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save the Sound. “Electrifying our transportation sector will boost the green economy, save consumers money, keep Connecticut healthy, and reduce our dependence on filthy fossil fuels. Fortunately, Governor Lamont and the legislature jumped behind the wheel this past session showing true initiative to electrify transportation in Connecticut. The next step to speed up EV adoption is for the state to complete and implement the Electric Vehicle Roadmap.”

“The growth of EV adoption in Connecticut demonstrates that the electric mobility revolution is underway,” says Kevin Miller, Director of Public Policy for ChargePoint. “ChargePoint applauds the Lamont Administration and legislature for prioritizing support for transportation electrification, which will help meet statewide energy and environmental goals and ensure that the State has the world-class EV charging network it deserves. We look forward to working with PURA, DEEP, DAS, and other stakeholders to make it easier for Connecticut drivers and riders to go electric.”

Members of the Connecticut Electric Vehicle Coalition 

  • Acadia Center*
  • ChargePoint
  • Connecticut Fund for the Environment*
  • Connecticut Nurses Association
  • Connecticut Roundtable on Climate & Jobs*
  • Connecticut Citizen Action Group
  • ConnPIRG
  • Conservation Law Foundation
  • Chispa-CT*
  • Clean Water Action*
  • CT League of Conservation Voters
  • 350 CT
  • Drive Electric Cars New England
  • Eastern CT Green Action
  • Electric Vehicle Club of Connecticut*
  • Energy Solutions, LLC
  • Environment Connecticut*
  • Greater New Haven Clean Cities Coalition, Inc.
  • Hamden Land Conservation Trust
  • Hartford Climate Stewardship Council
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers*
  • Interreligious Eco-Justice Network
  • New Haven Climate Movement
  • Northeast Clean Energy Council
  • People’s Action for Clean Energy
  • Proton OnSite
  • Plug In America*
  • RENEW Northeast
  • Sierra Club*
  • Solar Connecticut, Inc.
  • Tesla, Inc.
  • Union of Concerned Scientists

* Connecticut EV Coalition Steering Committee Membership

DRIVE ELECTRIC WEEK EVENTS


Fairfield

Day:      Saturday, September 14, 2019

Time:    10am-2pm

Location: Fairfield

Fairfield Train Overflow Lot (across from Sportsplex)

140 Mill Plain Road

Fairfield, CT 06824

 

Glastonbury

Day:      Saturday, September 14, 2019

Time:    10:00 AM -2:00 PM

Location:  First Church of Christ

2183 Main Street

Glastonbury, CT 06073

 

Hamden

Day:      Saturday, September 14, 2019

Time:    11:00 am to 3:00 p.m.

Location: Miller Public Library

2901 Dixwell Ave

Hamden, CT 06518

 

Madison

Day:      Sunday, September 22, 2019

Time:    1 PM – 4 PM

Location:   Madison Senior Center

29 Bradley Road

Madison, CT 06443

 

Middletown

Day:      Saturday, September 21, 2019

Time:    2:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Location:  Harbor Park

100 Harbor Park Road

Middletown, CT 06457

 

New Britain

Day:      Sunday, September 22, 2019

Time:    12:00 – 4:00

Location:   Central Conn. State University

1615 Stanley Street

New Britain, CT 06053

 

Old Saybook

Day:      Saturday, September 21, 2019

Time:    11:00 am to 3:00 p.m.

Location:  Saybrook Point Pavilion

155 College Street

Old Saybook, CT 06475

 

Oxford

Day:      Saturday, September 14, 2019

Time:    10:00am- 2:00pm

Location:   Quarry Walk

300 Oxford Rd

Oxford, CT 06478

 

Southbury

Day:      Saturday, September 21, 2019

Time:    10am -2pm

Location:   Southbury Town Hall Green

775 Main Street South

Southbury, CT 06488

 

South Windsor

Day:      Saturday, September 14, 2019

Time:    9am to 12pm

Location:  South Windsor Community Center (Farmers Market)

150 Nevers Road

South Windsor, CT 06074

 

West Hartford

Day:      Saturday, September 21, 2019

Time:    9 – 1pm

Location:  West Hartford Town Hall

Main St

West Hartford, CT 06106

 

Windsor

Day:      Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Time:    5:00 – 8:00 PM

Location:   Bart’s Drive-In Restaurant

55 Palisado Avenue

Windsor, CT 06095




CT EV Ownership Up 16% in First Half of 2019

Interactive EV Dashboard – July 2019 Update

The Department of Motor Vehicles has released its semi-annual update of EV ownership in the State of Connecticut. The update is dated July 1. The DMV only publishes the total on its website. We have obtained a detailed file to analyze the profile of EV ownership in CT. This is a file of all light-vehicle EV registrations. It is not new vehicle sales. It includes both purchased and leased vehicles, whether acquired new or used. It reflects newly acquired vehicles, less any turnover. There were 2136 EVs registered in the first half of 2019, but with a turnover of 628 vehicles, the net increase is 1508.

There is no PII. We received make, model, model year, fuel type, and zip code. We added in census data for population by city and median household income by city. The zip code reflects where the vehicle is registered, which could, in some cases, be different than where it is garaged.

This blog post summarizes some of the highlights and uses screenshots, which are not interactive. This link will take you to the browser version of the dashboard, which has the interactivity. Note: pagination is at the bottom of each page. The dashboard also lives on PBI.com, which we can link you to upon request.

Feel free to contact the club with any questions!

Growth

There are now 10,797 EVs registered in CT, an increase of 16% from Jan 2019. This is not a great number. It paces below the CAGR of about 40% that is necessary (based on the Jan. 1 number) to meet the goals outlined in the ZEV Multistate Action Plan. (Granted, this slower growth is occurring against a backdrop of slowing automobile sales generally.)

Number of EVs registered in CT
Chart: Barry Kresch

 

EV Growth Rate, EV Club CT
Chart: Barry Kresch

Fuel Type

53% of EVs are of the Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) variety. Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) are growing at a faster rate, mainly due to Tesla. However, the great majority of EV offerings from most other manufacturers are PHEVs, which is driving this. We expect the balance will change in a few years. BEMC refers to Battery Electric Motorcycles, and FCEV refers to Fuel Cell EVs.

EV Trend in CT by Fuel Type, EV Club of CT

Make

The story this year, much like last year, was that most of the growth was driven by Tesla. This is despite whatever sales friction exists due to CT still being among the handful of states that do not allow Tesla to open their own stores, and, of course, Tesla being in the phase-out of the Federal Tax Credit. Hyundai had a modest pop. All of the other manufacturers were either treading water or had lost ground. Honda, which had a boost last year with the PHEV Clarity, has flattened. There is a report in Inside EVs that Honda has pulled back on distribution and is now selling it only in California. The two makes that lost the most ground were Chevrolet and Ford. The chart excerpt below shows the trend of registered EVs by make for the four data points we have going back to 2017. The chart is an excerpt and includes those with the highest numbers as of July 2019.

EV Trend by Make in CT, EV Club of CT
Chart: Barry Kresch

Tesla now accounts for 34% of EVs registered in the state. As recently as 2018, the numbers for Tesla, Chevrolet, and Toyota were close, but that is no longer the case.

7-19 EV Share by Make, EV Club of CT
Chart: Barry Kresch

This waterfall chart looks at the contribution to incremental growth between January and July by make. Tesla was responsible for 52% of net EV growth. This was an increase of 780 units out of the net growth of 1508. Hyundai accounted for 32%. All other makes ranged from slightly below 4% to -4%.

EV Growth Contribution by Make in CT, Ev Club of CT

Model

The Tesla Model 3 is now the most widely registered Model, less than 2 years after it became available. And, as one can see from the jump in the size of the bar, it is THE story in the EV world for the past 12 months. It is a great early success story, has overwhelmed every other model, and has arguably been something of a double-edged sword for Tesla as the growth of the Models S and X has slowed (more so the S).

The Prius Plug-in is second. (Note: The Prius numbers combine the gen 1 Plug-in Prius with the newer, and better selling, Prius Prime.) In the third position is the Model S, followed by the Chevy Volt. With the discontinuance of the Volt in March 2019, the sales of this model are drastically reduced as GM clears out remaining inventory. On this chart, the number of Volts shows a decline since January, meaning that turnover is greater than newly acquired vehicles being registered. This chart is also an excerpt of the most widely registered models as there are too many to display here.

EV Trend by Model in CT, EV Club CT

EVs by City/County

The cities with the highest number of EVs are Stamford (524), Greenwich (489), Westport (431), Fairfield (316), and Norwalk (296). The chart below is an excerpt of the cities with the most EVs.

Fairfield County, in general, is where the largest concentration of EVs can be found, accounting for 40% of EVs in the state.

EV Count by City, CT. EV Club of CT
Chart: Barry Kresch

EV Count by CT County
Chart: Barry Kresch

Per-Capita

On a per-capita basis, Westport is the leading city, followed by Weston, New Canaan, Woodbridge, and Wilton. The chart below is also an excerpt due to space limitations.

EVs per capita by city in CT, EV Club of CT
Chart: Barry Kresch

In the chart below, the size of the bubble reflects the count of EVs and the coloration is based on per-capita. The darkest blue-green has the highest per-capita and the deepest red is the lowest.

Visualization of number of EVs and EVs per capita by city in CT, EV Club of CT
Chart: Barry Kresch

EVs by Zip Code

The final map displays EVs by zip code. Yes, the chart is dense where the populatioin is dense, and it reinforces what we already know from the cities, but gives added granularity. Notice how adjacent zip codes in Fairfield County span the highest to lowest levels of EV representation.

EVs in CT by Zip Code
Chart: Barry Kresch




Sierra Club to Present at 5/28 EV Club Meeting

The EV Club of CT is pleased to announce that there will be a presentation from Hieu Le of the Sierra Club at the upcoming club meeting, scheduled for May 28th. The Sierra Club is one of the organizations that EV Club CT partners with in the Connecticut Electric Vehicle Coalition.

 

Hieu Le is the campaign representative for the Sierra Club’s Clean Transportation for all Campaign. He leads the organization’s efforts on the Volkswagen settlement funds, electric vehicles, EV fees, National Drive Electric Week, and the Rev Up Electric Vehicles campaign. Prior to joining the Sierra Club, he worked on Beto O’Rourke’s Senate campaign in Texas. He also worked in Sacramento for a government affairs firm. He is a former delegate to the California Democratic Party and attended the University of California, Santa Barbara.

 

Meeting logistics

Date: May 28th

Time: 7:00 PM

Location: Bedford Square Offices of The Higgins Group, 30 Elm Street, Westport, CT.




Dashboard Redux – 2019

The newest version of the Electric Vehicle Interactive Dashboard has arrived.

 

Highlights

  • EV growth was strong in 2018 but there is still a very long way to go to achieve the objectives set forth in the Multi-State ZEV Action plan.
  • There are 9,289 registered EVs in the state as of Jan 1, 2019, an increase of 78% from the year ago point in time.
  • The increase was largely powered by the Tesla Model 3.
  • Plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) still account for somewhat more than half of all registered EVs.
  • The first fuel cell vehicles appeared in the state in 2018.
  • Tesla, despite only selling high-priced vehicles, including the higher-priced version of the Model 3, accounts for 31% of all registered EVs.
  • The most widely registered model is the plug-in version(s) of the Toyota Prius (combining the first-generation Plug-in Prius and the successor Prius Prime).
  • 61% of registered EVs are from the 2017 or 2018 model year.

Introduction

While the DMV is required by statute to publish the number of EVs in CT every six months, they do not publish any sort of breakdown. It is simply a topline number that can be used to measure the overall progress relative to the goals adopted when the state joined the Multi-state ZEV Action Plan (MZAP). Unless one has the financial wherewithal to subscribe to one of the syndicated research services that process automobile registrations, this is the only place to see the breakdown of electric vehicles in CT.

The Electric Vehicle Club of Ct (EVClubCT) has received files from the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles for the past three years, and from this we have developed the Interactive EV Dashboard. This blog post summarizes the findings. At the end of this post is information about how to link directly to the dashboard.

Technical Notes

These files have come to us via Freedom of Information Act request, but the timing, the included fields, and format have varied across the years. We work with it as best we can. For example, the file this year did not include fuel type. Even when it did, in 2017 and 2018, the DMV does not have Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEV) codified as a fuel type. We build that from the model name. The topline numbers published by the DMV do include all EV fuel types, which are Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV), PHEV, and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV).

We have received files from February 2017, March 2018, and January 2019 (actually all vehicles registered as of December 31, 2018). This asynchronous timing, along with our manually applying the fuel type designation, will cause our numbers to be slightly different than the DMV.

The dashboard is simpler this year because we did not receive the city associated with each vehicle, nor did we receive totals to give us a denominator. Consequently, we could not update our analysis by city, county, median income, per capita, and percentage of the fleet. We have make, model, and model year only.

Definitions

The numbers are based on vehicle registrations. NOT SALES. This is the most often misunderstood point about this exercise. In other words, it is cumulative minus any turnover. Vehicles may have been acquired new or used, purchased or leased. Also, the model year is exactly that, the vehicle model year – not the year in which it was sold.

Overall Growth

This blog has published in February that the number of registered EVs grew 78% year over year in 2019. The growth during the 9-month interval covered by the dashboard is 48%. Either number is an improvement over the 35% from the prior year. But the improved growth rate still leaves a big gap between the 9,289 EVs currently registered and the MZAP objective of about 500,000 EVs by 2030. We would need a going forward compounded annual growth rate of about 44% to achieve this level. The growth rate was relatively strong this year with the most significant factor being the pent-up demand for the Model 3.

Trend of EV registrations in CT

All of the charts below are from the data in the dashboard, which, as earlier noted, use months other than January for 2017 or 2018.

Fuel Type

PHEVs are still the more dominant fuel-type. At some point, we assume that BEVs will dominate and we note that General Motors has announced going forward that it will only produce BEVs. But the PHEV is an important transitional power-train. As noted by DEEP at their clean transportation forum on January 30, PHEVs have a big impact on reducing fossil fuels and will be with us for some time until infrastructure and battery technology can overcome range anxiety and limitations.

The first fuel cell vehicles have appeared in the file since we began doing this. There were – wait for it – drum roll — TWO! Both are the Toyota Mirai. Toyota, which is heavily invested in hybrids, seems to also be looking to develop FCEVs rather than BEVs. Their only BEV was the short-lived compliance vehicle BEV version of the RAV4. If you think EV charging infrastructure is inadequate, well, there are currently as many refueling options for FCEVs as there are vehicles. No waiting! When last we checked, there was one in Hartford and one in Wallingford. FCEVs are true zero tailpipe emissions vehicles (and like with electricity, there is a variable carbon footprint depending upon how the hydrogen is manufactured). The CT purchase incentive program, CHEAPR, offers a $5,000 rebate for FCEVs, larger than for the other vehicle types. Though there are complaints about the lack of EV charging stations, it is about the hardware and not the power source, as the grid is ubiquitous. That is the nature of the infrastructure challenge facing hydrogen power, along with the high cost of the cars.

EV Trend by fuel type

Make

Tesla, despite CT not allowing them to open stores in the state, has widened its lead, increasing from 26% to 31% of all registered EVs. 2,894 of the 9,289 EVs are Tesla. The only two other makes to exceed 10% in share are Chevrolet (19%) and Toyota (17%), with Toyota growing at a faster rate than Chevy. Below is an excerpt of the chart showing the 3-year trend by make, and below that, a donut chart showing the vehicle count as a share of the total.

EV trend by make

Share of EVs by Make

% Of Growth By Make

Tesla was responsible for 42% of the unit growth, followed by Toyota and Honda, both at 11%. The vast majority of automakers were responsible for less than 1% of the growth each.

EV growth year over year by make

Model

As noted earlier, the Model 3 was the big story, with 1,025 units registered in CT in 2018, placing it fourth in terms of number of vehicles registered following the Prius (1,533), Model S (1,413), and Volt (1,267). These are the only vehicles with over 1,000 registrations. The Leaf and Bolt follow. One other new car made a modest splash, the PHEV version of the Honda Clarity, now with 409 units registered in 2018. Below is an excerpt.

CT EVs by model

Model Year

It isn’t surprising that most EVs are of the 2017 and 2018 model years. There were a few 2019 models that sneaked in at the end of the year. If you look at the legend below, you might find it surprising that there is an EV from 1998. It is actually a Ford Ranger. That’s all we know. Is it some one-of-a-kind DIY thing? Or an error in the file (it happens)? We’ll leave it there.

EV Count by model year

 

Closing Thoughts

  • While EV ownership had strong growth in 2018, there is a long way to go to reach the MZEV goals.
  • Early signs are pointing to a slower growth year in 2019. EV sales nationally grew 11% in the first quarter of 2019 relative to 2018. (And in Q1 2018, the Model 3 had not yet scaled.) This compares to growth of 81% for the full year of 2018 over 2017. There are relatively few new near-term EV introductions. Among them are a refreshed Leaf with a 150 mile range, the Kia Niro rated for 239 miles, Hyundai Kona rated for 258 miles, 200+ mile luxury vehicles in the Audi E-Tron and the recently introduced Jaguar I-Pace. Tesla will begin producing the lower cost version of the Model 3 and may possibly offer a lease option later this year. Deliveries of the Model Y from Tesla, expected to be another significant launch, will not begin until late 2020, assuming it remains on schedule. GM has canceled the Volt, a fairly large seller by EV standards, and announced a pivot towards a BEV only strategy centered under the Cadillac brand which will take a few years to become manifest.
  • The EV Club was advocating for HB 7142, which would have permitted direct sales by a manufacturer without a dealer network (i.e. Tesla at this point in time). While Tesla’s announcement of a move to an Internet sales model has mooted this, the fact remains that this company has an outsize presence in the EV market in the state, though likely it could have been larger. This sales model may also be a consideration for prospective new entrants in the EV space.
  • There were a couple of other bright spots outside of Tesla, mainly the Toyota Prius Prime and the Honda Clarity (PHEV version, which has an electric range only slightly below the Volt), but most of the automobile manufacturers are not generating much EV sales volume at this time.
  • Both Tesla and GM are in the Federal Tax Credit phase-out period. Many of the newly announced EVs are a few years away from being available.
  • Fuel prices have remained fairly low.
  • There are a number of policies that the club advocates. Here are some important ones:
    • The CT CHEAPR rebate program does not have an ongoing source of funding and could run out this year.
    • We advocate the Federal Tax Credit be continued, preferably turned into a rebate, and that the 200,000 unit cap per manufacturer be removed.
    • Building codes should be updated to require pre-wiring for EV chargers, with particular attention to multi-unit dwellings.
    • Better time-of-use electrical rates.
    • Incorporation of EVs in public sector fleets.
    • Policies that de-carbonize the grid.
  • While there are some encouraging signals, including a study from AAA indicating that one in five drivers say they are likely to go electric for their next vehicle purchase, this is no time to take our foot off the “gas.”

The browser version of the dashboard is available here

There is a Powerpoint, obviously not interactive, of the dashboard visuals downloadable from the home page.

If any reader would like access to the PBI.com version, let us know via the website contact form.




SRO Crowd For Clean Transportation Forum In Hartford

Representative Jonathan Steinberg (D-136) Kicks Off The Session By Advocating for Added CHEAPR Funding (Photo: Bruce Becker)

Hartford DEEP Transportation Forum
REp. Jonathan Steinberg (D-136) Kicks off the Session By Advocating Continued CHEAPR Funding

 

Presenters: Dana Lowell (not pictured) of MJ Bradley and Associates; (left to right) Emily Lewis, Policy Analyst for Acadia Center; Mustafa Salahuddin, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1336 in Bridgeport; and Kevin Killer, Director of Public Policy for Chargepoint

A full house

A full meeting room of people assembled to hear a panel on EV public policy, specifically the economic benefits of moving to more extensive EV adoption. Along with the panelists noted above, the crowd also heard from Representatives Jonathan Steinberg (D-136, Westport) and Roland Lemar (D-96, East Haven), who is co-chair of the Transportation Committee. The panel was co-moderated by Claire Coleman, climate attorney for the CT Fund for the Environment, and Bruce Becker, president of the Electric Vehicle Club of CT.

The topic of the panel was how increased adoption of EVs will confer significant economic benefits to the state of CT and its residents.

Among the specific topics covered were continued funding of CHEAPR, the state program of rebates for EV purchasers; time-of-use utility rates; the impact of EV charging on utilities and ratepayers; and the benefits of moving to electric buses in our transit systems. For example, Mr. Lowell pointed out that, by law, the additional net revenues that would flow to utilities from EVs plugging in would have to be returned to ratepayers, lowering bills by an average of about $150 annually. And, if the charging were to occur primarily during off-peak hours, this would contribute to smoothing the power-utilization curve throughout the day. A good summary of the proceedings can be found in a write-up done by The Day of New London.

The EV Club of CT showed up in force for the day’s events, which included meetings with legislators and legislative aides in addition to the forum. Aside from Becker, club members Phil Levieff, Dawn Henry, R. Murali, Demetri Spantidos, Analiese Paik, Virgil de la Cruz, and Barry Kresch made the rounds.

Barry Kresch, Analiese Paik, R. Murali in Hartford
Barry Kresch, Analiese Paik, and R. Murali walked to the state capitol on a balmy, 24-degree morning on January 30. (Photo: Phil Levieff)




EV Ownership In CT Increases 78% in 2018

The early data are in and the number of EVs registered in CT as of December 31, 2018 has increased by 78% relative to one year ago.

We do not have much detail below this high-level information, but we know a few things and can surmise more.

The total number of EVs registered as of 12/31 is 9289, up from 5206 one year ago. There were 5063 PHEVs registered and 4208 BEVs. (This doesn’t 100% tie back due to a few outliers). The PHEV number was up 69% and the BEV number was up 91% relative to 2017.

Even though we do not have granular data, we know that 2018 was the year of the Tesla Model 3. The large increase and higher proportion of BEVs relative to past years is no doubt due to the Model 3, which has blasted through all previous EV sales records. Our opinion is that this number is also possibly a bit understated. There is a lead-lag to getting a Tesla registered in CT due to the fact that it is still not legal for Tesla to open stores in CT. Consequently, Teslas must be purchased out of state and then the registration has to be transferred. We have one member of our club who was upset that the transference did not occur until after Jan. 1, which cost him part of his tax credit. It is likely he was not alone.

Below is a chart that shows the difference in EV sales by make in 2018 relative to 2017. It is based on analysis of national data published in Inside EVs.chart - change in EV unit sales by make

Our club is brand agnostic. We want to see people buy EVs and we don’t care which one they choose. The change for Tesla is obviously light years ahead of every other company. But the bigger point, or question, is about the lack of traction on the part of all of the other manufacturers. It looks like they aren’t really trying and we hope that can change. Almost all of them have made numerous and ambitious announcements of EVs in development. Audi has purchased a 60 second spot in the Super Bowl to advertise EVs. Based on the going rate, they will have spent over $10 million for the privilege.

The legacy automakers will argue that their inability to generate EV sales momentum is due to lack of consumer interest exacerbated by relatively low fuel prices. Tesla is demonstrating that this is not the case (and doing so with a form factor – a sedan – that has been falling out of favor with consumers).

When one sees numbers like these, and being aware of the aggressive EV adoption goals in the Multistate ZEV Action that CT has signed on to, it is hard to justify throwing up barriers that inhibit sales by Tesla or other companies which sell direct, such as Rivian, the maker of an electric pickup.

We hope that Audi is throwing down a marker, and we hope the other companies follow through in a serious way on their EV pronouncements. In the meantime, enabling Tesla and other new EV manufacturers to open stores in CT might induce the legacy carmakers to compete in the showroom and not the legislature.