- A new report from the Edison Electric Institute and the Institute for Electric Innovation predicts a major boom in sales of plug-in electric vehicles over the next several years. The two groups project 7 million of the zero-emissions vehicles will be on the road by 2025—up from 567,000 at the end of 2016.
- The report also predicts about 5 million charge ports will be required to support those vehicles, which it says "represents a significant investment in PEV charging infrastructure."
- EV sales are projected to represent 7% of all vehicle sales by 2025, with the vehicles making up 3% of all cars and light duty trucks in the United States.
EEI's projections for electric vehicle sales may be optimistic, but the group—which represents investor owned electric utilities—has reason to be a booster. Increasingly, utilities see electric vehicle charging load as a balancing resource, revenue source and holds the potential to ratebase charge ports.
“America’s electric companies are leading efforts to advance the electrification of the transportation sector, and these companies are well-positioned to develop the charging infrastructure we need to support 7 million PEVs by 2025,” EEI President Tom Kuhn said in a statement.
Electrifying the transportation sector is "win-win," he said, meeting customer demands while also "supporting America’s energy security and sustainability.”
The report identified several factors driving sales of electric vehicles, including corporate average fuel economy standards and declining battery costs.
And the research looked at several ways utilities are helping drive EV adoption: developing “make-ready” energy grid infrastructure to support charging ports; owning and operating charging stations; offering EV-specific electric rates; and linking site hosts with EV charging equipment developers.
Electric utilities are already beginning to plan for the expansion of EVs in their territories. A recent report from the Smart Electric Power Alliance, “Utilities and Electric Vehicles; The Case For Managed Charging,” urged utilities to control charging so that it coincides with grid needs instead of becoming a stressor a peak times.
EEI Sustainable Technology Manager Kellen Schefter previously told Utility Dive that “to be an asset of grid-scale value, EVs would need to be at least 5% to 10% of new car sales."