Published on November 19th, 2018 | by Kyle Field0
California Utility Proposes Subscription Model For Commercial EV Charging
November 19th, 2018 by Kyle Field
PG&E proposed a new set of rate plans to the California Public Utilities Commission that would offer a new subscription model for commercial electric vehicle charging.
If approved, the new plans would offer tiered subscription pricing for EV charging for commercial vehicles that would offer a more predictable monthly bill for fleet managers struggling to adjust to the extreme variability that the current setup of electricity pricing can result in.
The current base electrical rate that uses time-of-use or tiered electricity rates with demand charges stacked on top often results in an electric bill for fleet managers that fluctuates wildly month to month. PG&E says that it created the new subscription plans to make EV charging more predictable for commercial fleets and charging stations at apartment buildings, workplaces and other public locations across its service territory.
The new structure would allow station operators to subscribe for a certain amount of power per billing period which correlates more directly with the number of miles driven each month.
“Expanding the use of electric vehicles is essential for California to achieve its bold climate and clean air goals. As EV adoption has continued to grow in California, PG&E has recognized the need to create pricing plans that enable customers to take advantage of this clean technology that’s vital to our future,” says Steve Malnight, PG&E’s senior vice president for energy supply and policy. “Charging an electric vehicle is different than powering a building. EV charging will be simpler, more affordable and more consistent under this proposed plan.”
The new proposal found traction with leaders in the fleet and EV charging network operator space. ChargePoint Inc’s director of utility solutions, Renee Samson said, “ChargePoint applauds PG&E for the innovative commercial electric vehicle rate proposal that will, if approved, benefit EV drivers by significantly reducing barriers for operating charging stations in California.”
If successful, the plan stands to benefit large electric fleets, like electric bus fleet operators, the most. “As one of the largest energy providers in California, PG&E plays an essential role in accelerating the transition to electric vehicles,” adds Ryan Popple, CEO of electric bus builder Proterra. “PG&E’s proposal simplifies EV charging rate structures to make it more affordable.”
The proposed plans would flatten out the peaks and valleys of typical fleet charging bills, more data is needed to allow for comparisons of before and after to determine if they actually make bills for operators lower or just more predictable. With the proposal in the hands of the CPUC, this type of a comparison is surely underway to determine if the new plans would indeed make it easier for larger fleet managers and network operators to encourage EV charging.