Supporting Electric Vehicle Adoption as an Electric Utility
Utilities and Electric Vehicles
Progressive electric utilities are realizing that increased adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) have the potential to help deliver reliable, balanced, and cost effective electricity distribution for their customers through a number of direct and indirect grid services.
This emerging and evolving perspective on EVs has translated into investments by a number of small and large utilities in electric vehicle adoption and engagement initiatives to help stimulate and grow the plug-in vehicle market in their service area.
While visionary leaders in the utility industry understand that increasing conservation and renewable generation will have tremendous benefits to mitigate environmental and climate change impacts, the industry also needs to continue to provide stable energy rates and reliable electricity services to their customers.
In some cases, plug-in vehicles have the ability to enhance the sophistication of these services. This could include increased storage capacity for surplus renewable generation at night, rate stabilization benefits from off-setting demand reduction caused by increased ‘off-grid’ generation, or enhanced technical capabilities to support a stronger net exporter strategy.
The benefits of plug-in vehicles will vary by each utility and service area, but one thing is becoming more evident and clear – the electrification of transportation delivers notable upside benefits for energy consumers if their utility can harness its grid services potential.
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The Benefit of Customer Engagement Programs
As the adoption of electric vehicles increases, the utility’s early and ongoing investments in customer engagement becomes even more important to enable smart grid technologies and pathways. And, in the age of information overload and demands on our time, those folks managing the EV file for the utility need new ways to interact with customers as a trust energy advisor to effectively support plug-in vehicle uptake.
Engaging and supporting commercial and government fleets operating in their service area has been a key strategic approach for a number of EV programs offered by utilities. Fleet operators participating in these programs are able to find suitable ways to reduce their total cost of ownership while demonstrating environmental leadership with their procurement decisions. This mindset has become increasingly true with a number of utilities in regards to their own fleet operations as well – including the commitment to procure a certain percentage of plug-in vehicles over the coming years.
There are a number of case studies of this leadership in customer engagement throughout the industry. Click the banner below if you’d like to see an example of one of our own.