The role of utilities in supporting EV adoption
September 5, 2014
September 5, 2014
What do electric utilities have to gain from electric vehicle adoption within their service area? As customers reduce their electrical demand through methods like conservation and rooftop solar, introducing electric vehicles can provide an additional load that can be used to maintain good utilization of long term assets. This can help electric utilities provide a more reliable, balanced, and cost effective electricity service. Utilities can also improve their environmental profile though electric vehicle adoption. With electric vehicles in their fleet and service area, a utility can support the integration of stronger renewable markets through the smart grid. Electric vehicles usher in emerging markets related to electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSEs) and the energy needed to charge them. This week, FleetCarma hosted a webinar to explore these benefits, hearing from two different utilities on how they have worked to strategically adopt electric vehicles both within their own fleet and throughout their service area.
Eric Mallia addresses how technology can bridge the gap between utilities and their customers, enabling fleets to become trusted energy advisers within their service area. He explores different methods for engaging with fleets and local organizations to strategically adopt electric vehicles to ensure their long term success.
Diane Robichaud, Business Development Coordinator at New Brunswick Power, discusses the motivations behind NB Power’s Shift Your Ride Program and the importance of electric vehicles for the utility. Diane discusses customer and community outreach through electric vehicle suitability assessments and ride and drives.
Adam Cutter, Marketing Program Manager at Central Maine Power, explains Central Maine Power’s program, and the monitoring of a variety of electric vehicles deployed across the state of Maine. Adam discusses the importance of a utility as resource for those within their service area to provide information and insight on electric vehicle ownership.
A recorded version of the webinar is available online, including a short question and answer session at the conclusion. Watch the webinar to learn more about not just why it is important for utilities to have electric vehicles within their service area but strategies and technologies that jump start that integration.
Within a utility’s fleet, electric vehicles can enable longer working hours, and reduced operational costs. Firsthand experience with electric vehicles fully acquaints a utility with the operational characteristics and best practices when driving and charging a plug-in vehicle. This experience allows the utility to become a trusted energy advisor in their service area. Customer engagement programs help utilities positively interact with prospective and new plug-in vehicle owners and cement their position as the go-to people to communicate when a plug-in vehicle is considered by either a fleet or individual. This communication can help, especially when a utility is concerned about neighborhood clustering. Increased communication can shift the uptake of electric vehicles from a disruptive load to a business opportunity. Watch the recorded version of the electric utilities webinar to find out technologies and strategies that enable utilities to achieve these goals.