With both Nissan and General Motors expanding production of their popular plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), and most of the other major auto manufacturers planning to offer a PEV of their own by the end of next year, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) today released a guidebook to help electric utilities get ready for these new electric cars and trucks.
The report, “The Utility Guide to Plug-In Electric Vehicle Readiness,” acts as a road map to help electric utilities and their customers get the most benefit from this innovative electric technology.
“The Guide builds on the lessons learned by the electric utilities serving the cities and regions where the Nissan LEAF and Chevrolet Volt were introduced late last year,” said EEI President Thomas R. Kuhn. “We also included the advice and insight of automotive and utility industry leaders, as well as groups such as the Electric Power Research Institute and the Electric Drive Transportation Association. Together, we believe the Guide will save electric utilities real time and money in getting themselves and their customers ready for PEVs.”
The Guide focuses on the four areas that every electric utility will need to address to make sure they are ready for PEVs to plug into their service area:
• Getting the utility up to speed—The structure and organizational changes that a utility will need to address, as well as the value of adding PEVs to their fleet.
• Enhancing the customer experience—The educational topics and communication channels that will help utilities get their PEV-owning customers up-to-speed.
• Key passengers to include—The Guide offers advice on engaging key third parties such as state regulators; Federal, state, local governments; and additional stakeholder collaborations.
• Plugging into the grid—This section looks at how much power PEVs use; ensuring grid and distribution system readiness; helping customers plug in; and streamlining the charging station installation process.
“Electric transportation offers America tremendous opportunity,” said Kuhn. “It can reduce the nation’s dependency on foreign oil, increase our national energy security, lower overall transportation fuel costs, improve air quality nationwide, and spur economic development. Our new Guide provides electric utilities with an important tool to help them support, encourage, and enable electric transportation to reach its full potential.”