- Putting a price on carbon emissions would be good for utilities because it would drive the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) which would in turn boost demand for the electricity that utilities sell, according to Pacific Gas and Electric CEO Tony Earley Jr.
- California's cap-and-trade system is a practical, market-based way to price carbon which will result in more electricity sales and more utility revenues that will fund new and improved grid infrastructure to further benefit utilities, the leader of California's largest utility told the Detroit Economic Club last week.
- Earley, a former DTE Energy CEO and Ford board member, also predicted (1) Congressional Republicans' efforts to block the proposed EPA emissions regulations will fail, (2) the price of EV batteries will become increasingly affordable, and (3) EV adoption will cut transportation sector oil reliance, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Earley's bullish attitude on electric vehicles and support of carbon pricing may once have seemed odd for a utility executive, but similar views are becoming commonplace in California. Earlier this year, San Diego Gas and Electric announced plans to own and operate car charging stations throughout southern California, a proposal still under review by state regulators.
As Utility Dive reported last month, a number of other utilities across the nation are participating in electric vehicle pilot programs aiming to make electric cars a grid resource.
To encourage more electric vehicles, a coalition of 70 utilities plans to invest $250 million over five years in fleet EVs.
Early in November 2014, U.S. EV sales topped 97,500 sold in 2013.
After 46 consecutive monthly year-over-year improvements in U.S. EV sales, October had a decline of 4% because Toyota did not adequately stock the 2015 Prius plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHV) at American dealerships after the 2014 model sold out. An estimated 9,662 EVs were sold in October, down from October 2013’s 10,055.
Kia sold 109 Soul EVs in their first month on the market. November sales are expected to be boosted by the Porsche Cayenne S e-Hybrid coming to U.S. dealers. It is expected to challenge Tesla for market share. It will be the 22nd major, mass produced EV to be offered in the U.S. in 2014.
The Nissan LEAF has exceeded its monthly year-on-year sales for 21 straight months. Chevrolet Volt sales were off in September and October because GM slowed production.