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January 13, 2020
Modifications Required for More than 85 Percent of Approved Utility EV Investment
Source: EV Hub
This spotlight is an excerpt from a complete data story linked below. 

Engagement from electric utilities in transportation electrification is on the rise and approved investment now totals almost $1.4 billion, 80 percent of which has occurred in the last two years. The ratio of approved elements of programs (filings) on the EV Hub Utility Filings Dashboard reveals a “batting average.” Cumulatively, utilities are batting 0.771, meaning 77 percent of all filings since 2013 have received commission approval. While a significant majority of programs have been approved by regulatory commissions, many were modified first. A closer look at utility proposals and decisions offers insights into why some utilities strike out when they first step up to the plate.

This favorable batting average doesn’t capture the nuance of the regulatory commission process and the back-and-forth between utilities, regulators, and the stakeholder community. While a baseball player has only moments to react and adapt to changing conditions, electric utilities have months to modify their proposals to improve their chances of approval. Modifications to transportation electrification have been commonplace and utilities have often reduced or increased budgets, shifted their role in a program, or reallocated funds within a program to prioritize certain customer groups. Out of the 242 approved filings, 44 percent were modified in some way before a final approval was issued. Importantly, these modified approvals make up more than 85 percent of all approved utility investment totals. The most well-documented of which was a $650 million proposal by Pacific Gas & Electric in California in 2015 that was under consideration for nearly two years before a much smaller program was approved worth less than $150 million.

Of the 54 filing elements worth $241 million that have been denied since 2015, 30 were denied by commissions because the utility did not sufficiently demonstrate the benefits of the proposed program. After ramping up activity and receiving many denials in 2017, utilities have adjusted their strategy to reflect lessons learned. A surge in filing activity in 2018 and 2019 has coincided with higher approval ratings compared to the low point reached in 2017. This learning process is exemplified in cases like Ameren Missouri’s Charge Ahead Program; a strikeout in the early innings can lead to a smarter plate appearance for the utility later in the game. The commission decided Ameren’s original proposal did not demonstrate sufficient public benefit, threatened market competition, and conveyed too much expense to the ratepayer to be approved. The utility returned with a modified budget that prioritized different customer groups and won approval for an additional $6.6 million for the program in October 2019.

With $1.4 billion in utility funding for transportation electrification in the balance at the start of 2020, utilities must continue to learn from others, follow good practices outlined by the industry, and have patience at the plate. Electric utilities are expected to continue to play a vital role in closing the charging infrastructure gap and engaging underserved communities in ways that the private market may not be able to. EV Hub will continue to track all regulatory proceedings related to transportation electrification allowing utilities and other stakeholders to draw on this shared experience and enhance everyone’s chances of knocking one out of the park.
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EV Hub News

New York: Governor Cuomo Announces Bold Transportation Electrification Commitments in 2020

On January 8, 2020, New York Governor Cuomo delivered the “State of the State” address where he outlined the administration’s policy priorities for 2020. Transportation electrification will be a major part of state’s climate change mitigation strategy in the coming years, building on existing programs to increase EV adoption and charging deployment, including Charge NY. 

The state plans to implement a four-part initiative to accelerate EV market growth and will commit to 100 percent transit bus electrification by 2035. Read More Here

Hawaii Releases Statewide RFP for Fleet Electrification

On December 10, 2019, the Hawaii Department of Transportation (DOT) issued an RFP seeking proposals for electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, which could be solar-powered, statewide through a 10-year service contract.

The request for proposals is written to allow other government agencies to participate if they would also like to electrify their fleet vehicles. Proposals must be received by 2:30 p.m HST on January 14, 2020Read More Here

Catch Up On EV Hub News Alerts
Job Openings
Below are current job openings in transportation electrification: If you have a job posting you would like to share with EV Hub users, please send them to us in an email at info@atlasevhub.com.
Upcoming Events

The Transportation Research Board (TRB) 99th Annual Meeting will cover all transportation modes, with more than 5,000 presentations in nearly 800 sessions and workshops, addressing topics of interest to policy makers, administrators, practitioners, researchers, and representatives of government, industry, and academic institutions. A number of sessions and workshops will focus on the spotlight theme for the 2020 meeting: A Century of Progress: Foundation for the Future. Read More Here

January 12-16th

The number of users on EV Hub is growing and the content on the platform is constantly expanding to new areas. To help new folks get acclimated and to help existing users find out about new features, we’ll be hosting an online tour/training of EV Hub. This event will occur on a quarterly basis. Anyone can join, including those who aren’t on EV Hub. Read More Here

January 21st @ 1:00pm EST

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