Electric Vehicle Spring 2011 Quarterly Discussion Webinar (Text Version)
This is a text version of the video for the Electric Vehicle Spring 2011 Quarterly Discussion webinar presented on March 28, 2011, by Joel Pointon, San Diego Gas and Electric Company; and Stephanie Meyn, Puget Sound Clean Cities.
COORDINATOR: Welcome and thank you for standing by. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode until the question-and-answer session of today's conference.
At that time, you may press star one if you'd like to ask a question. Today's conference is being recorded. If you have any objections, you may disconnect at this time.
I would now like to turn the call over to your first speaker, Ms. Linda Bluestein. Ma'am, you may begin.
LINDA BLUESTEIN: Hi, this is Linda Bluestein with DOE's Clean Cities program. I'd like to wish everybody a good afternoon and welcome to our webinar.
Today we're going to hear from our Puget Sound Clean Cities coordinator, Stephanie Meyn, about her experience being the coordinator, which is really the pivotal person that is, sort of, the executive director of the Clean Cities coalition.
If you're not as familiar with Clean Cities, we're a public, private partnership organization. And we have coalitions at the local level that are not DOE employees; they're independent organizations.
These folks act as our people on the ground that try to put, that try to deploy, new vehicle technologies, including electric vehicles and the EVSEs for recharging.
Her coalition, in particular, received funding from several different sources. And she is going to provide us with sort of the good, the bad, and the ugly. I told her to go ahead and talk about all of the issues that she encountered so far.
So we're sort of going to be acting like her therapist, and she is going to use a dear diary format to keep us highly entertained.
We know that it's a frustrating experience, and we're glad that she could be sort of light-hearted about it. So we're looking forward to hearing all about that.
And the other person we're going to hear from today is Joel Pointon; he's with San Diego Gas and Electric, and he has a number of projects. And one thing that he is going to talk to us about is emphasizing issues with multi-unit dwellings—which we've heard in the past a lot about single family homes, and we know that the initial rollout emphasis is on those.
But these multi-unit dwellings—whether it be condos, apartments—have very interesting demographics for electric vehicles for the marketplace, and are very important in considerations and how to price the electricity, as well as transmit the electricity to the vehicles. There is special issues involved in multi-unit dwellings. So we're going to hear from Joel Pointon about that as well.
And Joel is manager of Electric Transportation Program for San Diego Gas and Electric. And he's going to be our first speaker.
And as, he restarted the program in 2006 for the utility. He's past chairperson of the San Diego Clean Cities coalition board of directors, and continues to serve on the board.
He is also an active member of the steering committee for the Electric Power Research Institute's Plug-in Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Working Council. The Rocky Mountain Institute Project Get Ready Advisory Council. The National Plug-in Vehicle Initiative of the EVTA Steering Committee, and has been a facilitator for the San Diego region's ECOtality EV Project since its inception.
So he's got a lot of experience and he's going to walk us through San Diego's program and the issue of multi-unit dwelling. Thanks, Joel.
JOEL POINTON: Thank you, Linda. And I appreciate the opportunity to speak to such a broad audience today. Looks like we have close to 165 attendees at the moment.
So I want to extend my thanks to the Department of Energy, and also to NREL, for their facilitation in putting the program together today.
In the first slide, I just want to go over some basic terms because my impression is we have people coming in to this at various levels of experience.
So just to clarify some of the terms that I'll be using, I use the term PEV, plug-in electric vehicle, as a generic term for all things that can plug into the grid and be used for transportation.
And I use EV as a more specific , 100% electric vehicle. Those vehicles, the short hand, they're electric fuel only; you will not find a tailpipe on those vehicles.
And that's what I use with the public, to help them distinguish between that and the next category of vehicle, which is plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, utilizing both gasoline and grid electricity. And they do have a tailpipe. So if were to even clarify this more, it's gas and electricity, a tailpipe, and a plug.
And NEVs, which are the neighborhood electric vehicles, and basically they are the same as the EV's, except that they are slower and usually smaller. And they're limited, in many areas of the country, to roads below a certain miles per hour.
When we look at charging infrastructure, the official term is electric vehicle supply equipment, abbreviated EVSE. Everyone is going to call them chargers, although that's a misnomer because the charger for AC charging—alternating current charging—is actually located on the vehicle.
What you're providing is AC current to the vehicle; it's converted to DC, and then the DC is used to charge the battery. And we have two flavors of AC charging coming. The first is level one, and that utilizes a simple three-prong plug wall outlet. And that's usually at a 120 V and it'll be on a 20 amp circuit.
These cord sets will come with the vehicle. At least they have so far. So that is a much slower type of charging than the next level that we're going to look at which is level two. Level two is where you have either a wall- or a pedestal-mounted EVSE. It requires an electrician to install the equipment. It provides AC again, but you're at a much higher voltage. You're using the voltage that you would normally see for, I got disconnected from Live Meeting, did anyone else?
LINDA BLUESTEIN: Yes. I just got disconnected as well.
JOEL POINTON: Okay. If we could ask people to re-log in.
JOEL POINTON: And I'm hoping it's only a temporary setback. Anyway, I'm going to go to my other set of slides here. And I will keep talking.
The level two is the voltage that you would normally see for a dryer, or for an electric stove. And usually that's going to be on a 40 amp circuit. Most of the vehicles coming to market right now, the Leaf and the Volt, are charging at a 20 amp level. But in the future, you will see that increase to a 40 amp level, which is about 6.6 kW.
WOMAN: Hey Joel...
JOEL POINTON: This is gives you medium charging. In Ford, the all-electric vehicles that are coming to the market right now, that equates to about 12 miles of range per hour of charging. And you would drop that back to 4 to 6 miles of range per hour of charging for the level one.
And then we go into direct current, or DC, fast charge. And when you hear the term fast charge or quick charge, that's what people are referring to.
It is not referred to as level three because level three would put it under the AC category. Here, we're converting the alternating current to direct current, off the vehicle, in the box. And then the DC is provided to the vehicle directly; much higher voltage, very much higher cost—$40–$50,000—for these types of units.
Here, in the San Diego EV Project, we're targeting these for trip continuation charging along highway corridors. They are capable of giving 80% of a 24 kWh battery charge in less than 30 minutes—approximately 80 miles of range on that vehicle in the marketplace today.
SANDRA LOI: Joel, this is Sandra. Just checking in to make sure that you're able to log back in.
JOEL POINTON: I am. I'm going to. I'm working from, yes, there we go.
SANDRA LOI: Okay. Okay, great. I think folks are starting to get back on as well. So thank you.
JOEL POINTON: Okay. This is more of a public relations slide. So I'm going to go through it rather quickly.
Our mandate is to support our customer's needs in the development of safe, reliable, and efficient integration of electric transportation with the grid.
This was just recently reinforced with the California Public Utility provisional decision that came out on March 15th. They had reinforced that that was the role of the investor-owned utilities. It was not to speak to environmental and societal benefits for electric transportation; it was to speak to the safe, reliable, and efficient integration of electric transportation with the grid.
So you'll see the areas we have targeted: charging technology and infrastructure. It needs to be widespread and convenient. Charging pricing—it needs to be attractive to charge off peak. That is going to be the key to success for these vehicles on the grid.
Utility system integration—it must be efficient and it must be smart; and market development to facilitate and support. And, we'll get further clarification from the CPUC as to how exactly they see our role in that.
Just to give you a bit of a spread on some of the vehicles, and you can see there is a range of vehicles that are coming to the market. Right now, the Leaf and the Volt are on center stage; those are the vehicles that are actually being delivered in our regions.
And all of us have put together these types of estimates. You will see a broad range of the types of market penetration for regions. And, as we all know, the world conditions will continually affect what these predictions look like. I put it out there, just to let you know we have done this sort of planning, to look at the impacts on our grid. However, they are subject to change.
And this is the story we really need to tell to the consumer. And that is, that for us, a summer peaking utility, the worst case scenario for us are vehicles charging between noon and 8 p.m., when we have our major air conditioner load. And which is our peak season, because we don't have as much heating. So, therefore, our peak season is summer time during those hours.
Our best case scenario is to have the off-peak charging—which you see represented to the left. And in California, the Electric Power Research Institute has estimated, we could add over 4 million plug-in electric vehicles tomorrow if we're doing off-peak charging, and not have to build one additional power plant.
So let's just talk a little bit about these rates. We have three rates. I'm only going to talk about the first two, the third is on hold because of the, a hardware issue.
The first one allows you to have a separate meter socket installed by the customer's electrician. The utility locates and does a final install of the vehicle time-of-use meter, and allows the customer to, therefore, measure their electric use for the vehicles separately, and apply just that use to the timeframes that we have for time of use.
The only thing that it does require is a $15 new service fee, which is assessed for any new service, for the administrative work to set up the account.
This allows for the efficient monitoring of the electricity used just for the plug-in electric vehicle. It also allows for the, hi can you hear me?
JOEL POINTON: Okay. I'm having a problem with one of the phones here. It also allows for the separate metering for the house use, which would remain on the domestic rate. And that would be important if you have people home during the daytime. Where most of your electricity is going to be used during the daytime, that may not be your best option.
The other is a whole house approach, EBTOU. That whole house approach allows for the time-of-use meter to take all of the homes use, including the electric vehicle, and put it on that time-of-use rate. If no one is at home during the day, that would be a very easy fit for most customers.
In the EBTOU 3, is on hold because of a hardware issue with the dual meter adapter not having UL or other NRTL approval.
So this is a representation for our time-of-use time periods and the relative cost for those times of use. These are cards that we leave at the dealerships, at community events, to allow people to get a quick read on what our electric vehicle time-of-use rates are.
We are also making an effort, you'll see in the bottom right hand corner, to drive people to our website so that they can look at the variety of information that we have available to them.
And again, stressing again, on the backside of this, and getting the customer to go to our website to look at these issues.
In the EV Projects, San Diego has one of the larger projects. We have about a 1,000 and I say free, but it's a $1,200 cap, for the installation of home-based charging, residential charging.
We have another 1,450 public access chargers that are going in. And, approximately 60 of the DC fast charge units that are going into the project. And we're currently looking at adding work place charging as part of that project here in the San Diego region.
The projects that we're looking at right now at SDG&E; we've done distribution impact of plug-in electric vehicles on our grid. Our concern is the clustering effect of these vehicles on neighborhood transformers.
With those neighborhood transformers, the effect of adding a 100% electric vehicle could be as great as the effect of adding a small home to a fully developed neighborhood.
So it's something that we need to track very closely, so that we can measure that increase on the transformers and that we can do appropriate upgrades when needed.
We're doing a pricing study and I'll show you some slides on that in a moment. But it's linked directly to the Leaf customers and our ECOtality project. We have been working on notification project; both GM and Nissan are presently on board with an opt-out option for their customers. They can opt out of notifying the utility that they are purchasing a vehicle. But, again, it's important for us to get that information to plot the charging effect.
Smart charging, that's another project we're doing in conjunction with PG&E and EPRI, to look at the communications and the, what we call the smart charging, the cycling charging, that can go on with these vehicles.
We're also looking at level one, or court set monitoring, with a company called Plug Smart, and it's allowing us to have the same type of intelligence that we would see on the larger EVSE's for communication.
PEV smart grid communications and coordination is a major focal point for SDG&E. We have just completed the majority of our smart meter installations and we are continuing on with the communications aspect of that.
Public access EVSE citing, modeling that was conducted with ECOtality and our regional stakeholders, a long process looking at everything from land use categorization. Also, looking at the effect of, or the difference between, what we call destination charging, and trip continuation charging, and where to best locate those types of infrastructure for the public.
Smart transformers—we're going forward with actually putting communication on transformers. So in addition to the mapping we're doing, under notification we can get the units to actually report to us what they're actual load is. And that's just being rolled out now.
And of course one of the other areas of major challenge for us is the multi-unit dwellings outreach.
These are the experimental rates that we're currently offering. The one on the left is what is our existing electric vehicle time-of-use rate. It's basically a 2:1 cost ratio. You pay twice as much in the middle of a summer afternoon as you do in the middle of the night at 2 a.m. during the summer. So it's basically approximately 13–14 cents to a 27:28 cent ratio.
We're offering rate two and three, in addition to the EDTOU, on a randomization basis, to the ECOtality project customers for the Leaf. And we'll be studying what impact these different price points have during the course of this study only. But we'll be studying the behavior of charging based on these types of profiles.
So let's look at our multi-unit dwellings complexity. Very often, you'll see scenarios like this where the, you see in the upper right hand corner, someone may live in that area. Their meter may be located on the first lower corner of that building. And their parking may be at a considerable distance from that building. And this, in itself, is one of the major challenges that we have. It's just the proximity to the metering equipment, to electrical infrastructure, and the configuration, like this, that we're going to see.
In high rises it can get even more complicated. These meter rooms—this is an example that you see— can be located on upper floors of these units. And, often times, these conduits, going through the concrete, are already maxed out in some of the older buildings.
So getting to the meters to try to do the coordination, with, say, whole house metering or second metering, can be very complicated for the multi-unit dwelling configurations.
Many areas of the building are on a common meter for common areas. And these are billing structures that are set up with the property managers.
So some of the diversity of our charging solutions for multi-unit dwellings; we have the legality issues. The codes, the covenants , the restrictions, for that particular residential community. These are agreements between property owners and residents. And with rental contracts, there are the agreements between the property owners and the renters. These are legal agreements, and, often times, need to be changed to offer the flexibility needed for the installation of EVSE's in the community.
Metering and wiring a very restrictive facility configurations often times. Master metering, remote parking, et cetera.We're even finding, in some of these multi-million dollar condominiums, that they don't even have assigned parking. So when you start assigning parking to a particular individual for a particular use, it raises an equality issue among the other residents within the community.
Alternative location schemes, the use of common areas, when those are suggested usually require extensive meetings with the homeowner association and votes with the homeowner association. Again, it could present a roadblock to the quick advancement of these types of solutions.
And then, cost allocation. Is it going to be billed back directly to the individual user? Is it going to be assumed by the homeowner association, and then assessed to the individual PEV owners by a flat fee? How are they going to collect that information? How are they going to handle the cost allocation, is another challenge.
We're estimating, right now, that it takes a good 6 months between the first individual approaching a homeowner association or a property manager, to the time when they can come up with an individualized association, solution for that multi-unit dwelling.
What we've been doing is some town hall-style meetings with the multi-unit stakeholders. We've also been doing individual site assessments with some of these multi-unit dwellings. And, to me, a multi-unit dwelling is everything from a manufactured home park, to multi-million dollar condominiums, and a high rise, and everything in between.
You have, often times, individual townhomes that may have metering that is centralized. And these would fall into some of the same challenge categories that we see. In order to help them, what we need to do is explain what is the PEV role, what is the terminology, what are the alternatives. What are the reasonable timelines that we're looking at for the evaluation? And, who are the stakeholders in this?
The data and solution sharing to facilitate a network of multi-unit dwelling interest group; we're kicking off a monthly workshop where we will invite the stakeholders at multi-unit dwellings that have already come up with their own internal solutions. They've come up with the types of language that they need to have in their agreements. They will do presentations to others on what their solutions are.
Because, as you can see, these are going to be very site-specific types of solutions. And the best way to do that, was for us to facilitate those that are working through these issues to speak with others. And then helping them to cite the available resources. We have major resource now with the EDTA and PVI GoElectricDrive.com. And I do recommend everyone take a close look at that as a resource, for any level of interest that you have in PEV's.
This is a multi-unit process template that we put together for EPRI working with SMUD.
I'm not going to go through it all, but what it does show you, it shows you all the different stakeholders, the different types of handoffs and decisions, and coordination that has to occur from the first time a tenant approaches to when a tenant can actually—or owner—can actually begin charging their vehicle.
So this is just a representation to show you some of the concerns and some of the coordination that has to occur. You'll be getting copies of these slides later so that you can study this in more detail.
So our major challenges—growth in metering solutions is essential. We're working hard to develop policy and requirements. We're looking at subtractive metering right now, where we can subtract the vehicle utilization from the home meter as one of the solutions.
The early notification that I spoke to earlier, for the utility, will improve the reliability within the system. So we can continually monitor how many of these plug-in electric vehicles are on any neighborhood transformer that we have within our system.
We're looking for additional methods for notification. Right now, we have a voluntary system, whereby the auto manufacturers, and notifying with that opt out.
But we're looking at, in addition to the purchase point permitting for the electricity, is another form of notification in the future.
The Department of Motor Vehicle registrations is another avenue. We do not have a national solution for this right now.
Multi-unit dwellings are diverse, they require diverse solutions, and education is the key here. Offering a spectrum of simple pre-engineered configurations, illustrations, business models, et cetera, for this community to consider is going to be the key for them working through these issues in a timely manner. And then, using those early successes as a training tool for those that are coming after, is going to be essential in my estimation.
Service planning demands the documentation cataloguing the mix of charging solutions. And I want to point out what is occurring in San Diego right now. Our biggest challenge is the work burden that these installations are putting on the local inspectors.
The municipalities do the inspections at the residential and at the commercial locations. Because of the severe financial constraints within California, and at the municipal level, these people are working at peak performance already. And we're adding some very significant workloads to this. And we have not found the solution to providing additional resources for these types of inspections. And, to me, that is going to be one of the biggest challenges we have in the San Diego region.
There is talk about looking at deputy inspector-type approaches. Working through all that with the city and the other 18 communities in our San Diego service county are going to be critical to making sure this works smoothly going ahead.
We're looking at hundreds of vehicles arriving next month in San Diego. And, therefore, hundreds of these types of installations and inspections that have to take place in a timely manner.
The work place charging impacts, again, education, the rate and grid impact payments, and taxes for workplace. There are IRS consequences if the employer provides free charging at the workplace.
We also have to stay aware of the peak impact this can have, because the work date will allow for charging during peak periods as well. Unless there are policies that either ameliorate or somehow avoid those types of impacts.
Especially during our critical peak periods during the summer, when we may have a warning go out to our customers that we're approaching a maximum peak on our grid. And we have to start up a significant amount of additional generation facilities to make that work.
At SDG&E, we have just put together our employee workplace charging policies. Our employees are paying for the charging that they're doing at our facilities, and those rates will correspond also with peak periods to add a disincentive for charging during those periods. And when we have a quick peak critical period, there will be no charging allowed on the infrastructure, okay.
So our communications has been focused on getting the word out. Our website has been our primary focal point. We have worked on upgrading and we're continuing to do that; it's never ending challenge to keep the website resource upgraded.
We've been visiting all of the dealerships in the region providing them with collateral. The example of which I showed you earlier in this. And we also give out wallet cards, and we encourage the dealers to make sure anyone even expressing an interest in plug-in electric vehicles takes this away. So that they understand the full picture of what it is they are going to need to deal with and the decisions they are going to need to make relative to their rates going forward.
Participation and coordination community PEV events—we participated in over 70 events last year alone that had a PEV component or where we demonstrated what was coming—to market the different types of metering solutions that we have.
We have targeted communications for those rate study participants. They, alone, are allowed to use those study rates. So it creates a specific challenge for us to communicate with them separately from our existing electric vehicle time-of-use rates that are available to all customers. Only the EV Project Leaf customers that opt into can be in that rate study and get one of those three randomly assigned rates.
Contractor and inspector training forums—we've done a number of those—we just did one recently with General Motors with both contractors and the inspectors from the San Diego region.
We've done the same thing with the contractors for the ECOtality project. We've also had attended trainings for the dealerships for both Nissan and General Motors.
National Plug-In Vehicle Initiative. Again, the GoElectricDrive.com resource, I strongly encourage you to make use of that resource. You'll see it developing more and more as time goes on.
And the focal point on the multi-unit dwelling outreach forums. And in our region, most forums are going to be our primary communication tool for that challenge of multi-unit dwellings.
So we've set up individualized e-mail communications. These are more important to the people in our region, but for our non-EV Project customers, the Electric Transportation Program (ETP) at SDGE.com.
For those within the EV Project, we have EV Study at SDGE.com. And those that are dealing with multi-unit dwelling issues, we've asked them to share their challenges and their successes with us at the e-mail address multi-unit@SDGE.com.
So that's basically the overview that we have to offer. And I don't know how you wish to take questions, if you want to take them at the end or what?
LINDA BLUESTEIN: Hi, Joel. Yes, this is Linda Bluestein, and we will take them after Stephanie Meyn's presentation.
And actually, after Stephanie's presentation, we're going to take five minutes and have Witt Sparks from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory discuss with us information about a very critical electric vehicle infrastructure program called GeoEVSE. And we didn't want anyone on this forum to miss information about that.
And so he's going to present for about 5 minutes. And then, following that, we'll go straight into questions and answers from everyone. And so let's just start with Stephanie.
And Stephanie is the Clean Cities coordinator for the Puget Sound which is a Seattle Clean Cities coalition.
And since she joined the coalition in 2008, she has successfully secured $15 million from DOE to support the suite of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicle projects. Some of which include electric vehicle supply equipment.
And she also played an integral role in administering and promoting the recently launched Evergreen Fleets program. And that offers efficient and budget-friendly best practices to help fleets conserve fuel, reduce emissions, and ultimately achieve certification as Green Fleets.
She also has a bio online—a longer bio—that you can read by going to our Clean Cities page at CleanCities.Energy.gov.
And you can look up all of our Clean Cities coordinators and coalitions across the country and make contact with them as they do important work—just as Stephanie is going to describe in her coming presentation. Stephanie, go ahead.
STEPHANIE MEYN: All right. Thank you, Linda. So I really am trying to keep this presentation a little more light and a little bit more personal.
Of course it's difficult in a Web-based forum to, you know, not have really any interaction with the crowd. But I hope to keep you entertained with the tales of woe and the tales of delight, depending on what day it was with the EVSE experience in Seattle so far.
The title page does have my contact information there in the corner. The lower right hand corner has my e-mail address. That's usually the best way to get a hold of me. I'm happy to share my phone number, but I just warn people that the best way to get a hold of me is through e-mail.
So, in order to set the context for the lessons we've learned so far in Seattle, it helps to set the scene in mid 2009.
And basically, within a span of a few months, we learned that five different pots of money, all in some way related to the U.S. Department of Energy, were responsible for installing about 2,000 level two chargers and about more than 50 DC fast charging units in the greater Puget Sound region.
And I'm very grateful to Joel for setting the scene for the glossary. So I'll just continue to use the same terminology that Joel introduced at the top of his slides.
So basically we just, we had a lot of different players coming in in a very short period of time saying we want to install all of these chargers. So I created the little, the dance of the many chargers on that slide to indicate what I felt was coming.
And so that really led to what I call everybody's favorite new party game, pin the EVSE on the Puget Sound. And so with all these organizations trying to get thousands of EVSE installed, the major funding players got together and we asked, "Well, how are we going to plan out where this infrastructure goes?"
And what we did, we decided to send a rogue cell of bureaucrats down to Portland, Oregon, to infiltrate one of their initial EVSE road mapping events. And those informants that went down there came back with some bad news. And that was that apparently, a lot of several politicians had infiltrated that group and were injecting in the process and putting pins in the map and saying this is going to make me look good. This is what politicians want to really show.
And that was something that we really didn't want to have happen in Seattle, that we really didn't want politicians deciding where our charging infrastructure was going especially with, you know, these millions of dollars of public funds.
And so that led me to, you know, being a good steward of the public dollar. I had a lot of anxiety. So here is a little, I know Oprah's been sharing her diary recently, so I felt that I would share with you the diary of a weary coordinator. That is not my actual tattoo.
So all the municipal governments that were participating in the Clean Cities grant with me were basically obsessed with this idea, that they were not going to install all of their electric vehicle charging infrastructure at park and rides because that's where their cars would be parked hours at a time, and it would be perfect for charging is what they thought.
And you know, something told me that probably wasn't the answer for EVSE charging, but I needed some way to prove it, or some kind of data.
And so for people who worked with me, they know I have an outspoken desire to have elves come in the night and do my work for me. So that's why you see a reference to elves in my diary. Because I find it highly unfair that cobbler's get elves to help them make shoes and I get nothing.
So when no elves came, what we did have, though, was our local regional planning counsel, the PSRC. And they had a whole lot of data that they were willing to mine—for a few thousand dollars worth of labor as long as we set the frame and the questions for the context.
And what we initially had them do is compare the demographics of the early hand raisers for the Nissan lease, because we did have a few thousand data points of early hand raisers.
These weren't the people who necessarily bought the lease, but were just interested in them, were expressing some kind of interest that maybe they would buy them. So we did have several thousand hand raisers and data about them.
And then we compared that data with other factors like income, house size, family size, and so on. And, as many of you have likely heard, the best indicator of an EV driver is a current hybrid electric vehicle driver.
The early adopters of hybrids are also tend to be the early adopters of EVs. So, while our intention for long-term planning for our EVS infrastructure is to serve the needs of the EV users, or of all EV users, in the short term we wanted to make sure that the early adopters had the infrastructure they needed.
So we asked the PSRC, the Puget Sound Regional Council, to examine the zip codes where current licensed hybrid users exist. And examine their driving and parking behavior based on a 2005 transportation survey that they had conducted that followed the very detailed driving behaviors of several thousand Puget Sound residents.
And what we learned in this study is that for work-related trips, you want to target employer buildings or parking lots that are outside of the central urban core and a little bit more in the suburban cities—even though you do want some urban core charging.
But in terms of employers and work places that you wanted to look at, really most of our commuters in the Puget Sound region travel less than 10 miles to get to the urban core.
But those who are in the east side cities—so you can see East of the smaller body of water—that's where a lot of the work places are where people travel with more like 20 to 40 miles.
And much to my delight, they did figure out that most people travel, on average, less than 7 miles to a park and ride. Which means that they are depleting less than 10% of their battery to go to park and rides. And it really doesn't make sense for lots and lots of charging stations to be there because most people haven't even depleted their battery at all. And they really don't need to be sitting there charging up all day.
And then we did confirm that rec centers, stadiums, shopping malls, and airports are good non-work-related charging stations sites.
So now we had some idea about where to install the EVSE. The next question was with these five different pots of money and all these different organizations, who would be responsible for installing them in which location.
And how do we make sure we're not all calling the same partners, or that the different grant partners aren't calling the same employers, or the same municipalities, to try and install on their properties? And so initially we did have a workgroup where we all came together and did a sort of war room scenario where we all tried to put pins on a map. But the thing is, when you invite—even though this is all public dollars and it's all U.S. DOE money— to install the charging equipment, a lot of the private sector players with ECOtality and with the Charge America grant folks in the room they didn't want to reveal to each other who they were talking to.
I think this is partly because they are all trying to get their grants done in a certain period of time. So they didn't want to say who they were talking to because they wanted to get some deal signed and inked before they would talk to anybody.
So that was very, that was very challenging for us to try and figure out where to put things. And then we also had a lot of misinformation being spread around cost share.
So, a lot of times, and many of you are probably already familiar with this, with all these different pots of money around, there are different requirements for the amounts that the municipality, or the work place, or the owner of the building, needs to contribute for the installation of the EVSE. And then some portion of that is paid for by the grant. Sometimes it's just the actual EVSE box, sometimes it also is for the, you know, the installation.
And so a lot of the different grant partners were spreading different pieces of information, and it's meant that the people on the user end, the people deciding whether or not they wanted to put in the EVSE, didn't really have the full story.
So what we ended up doing, then, was just agreeing on the territory and function for the different grants. Because no one wanted to reveal to the others what we were doing—or what they were doing. We just sort of said okay, then you get to work in this area, or on these types of partners.
So we agreed that ECOtality would focus on business and employer charging in the I-5 corridor. The Charge America would focus on the east side cities, and the I-405 and the I-90 corridor. The state would focus on the rural I-5 corridor to connect to Vancouver, British Columbia, and Portland, Oregon, as well as the highway to Mountain Pass.
And that left Clean Cities with the mission to do something that we're already really comfortable with, which made me very happy. Which was just to focus on those fleets that didn't, that were planning on buying electric vehicles that didn't qualify or didn't want to qualify for the ECOtality project, as well as municipal buildings. A lot. Especially the city of Seattle, they own a lot of infrastructure that's including sort of shopping-related infrastructure. So we knew that there was a lot we could do on their property to meet their needs.
So, one of the other benefits that we had is that the state had created legislation to enable the Puget Sound Regional Council to work with other municipalities to develop an EV installation guidebook. And this guidebook offered model ordinances and all the considerations the municipality would need.
And so that led to a more formal group with all of the stakeholders. And, well, initially, it was just a smaller group, but this legislation really enables technical and planning work groups to be created.
And so now we have a quarterly, what we're calling an EV action team. That we work together now to develop specific outcomes and outputs that we, as the group, want. One of the things we realized, early on, is that we were already the choir. Very much in the past, so we all sat around saying, "Yes, we love EV. That's great." But not really getting to a lot of specific issues.
And so, much like it sounds like with Joel's group, we're looking at tackling very specific issues that we want to meet for the region. And there is a lot more focus as well on the economic development side of things, so that it's training people and training a workforce.
So just when I thought my self-esteem was improving, I knew where everything was going to, where we were going to be installing EVSE, we had a very specific directive. Next came, you know, the installation part. And you think, okay, well that's fantastic. You know where it is, just put out an RFP and away you go.
But I had to spend a lot of time educating my grant partners, just about those data findings, and dispelling a lot of myths about where charging station infrastructure should be ideally located.
A lot of them still had those ideas that we just want to install the boxes in front of city hall because it looks snazzy. And that's really not where we wanted to put this, put the infrastructure. We really wanted to focus on where it would be used early on, but also where it made sense for a long-term strategy as well.
So once we had that done—so that was a, that was months of educating our partners—we worked with a $10,000 average installation price for the EVSE. So that included the box as well as the, you know, the conduit drilling, and whatever else needed to be done. And electrical upgrades where it made sense.
And, in general, we've seen the installation price from just a couple of thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the electrical upgrade needs.
And so the next step was to develop the RFP's for the actual EVSE with the grant partners. And this is where I'd say we have most of our lessons learned. Or, at least that's where we've had the most headaches and head slapping events so far.
So the first thing we did was just basically, we worked with Idaho National Labs because they had originally put a lot of the technical specs together with the ECOtality project. And they gave us this fantastic, nice complete list. And we said, "Great, let's use it. Let's throw it into the RFP," and away we go.
And so we gave those specs to City of Seattle and some of the other partners that we have that we're buying a lot of the EVSE and getting it installed. And so one of the first things we found was that there are many different UL listings. And so if you, in your contract, when you're, or any of your partners are trying to buy these EVSE. Knowing the differences between all of these UL listings is actually important. I didn't think it would be, we just listed all of them and said UL listed because that's what Idaho National Labs told us to do. And, it turns out, all of those different UL listings that I've listed there in bright red are for different things. I could list them out but I don't want to bore you to death.
Number 50 is the one that killed us because 50 is the UL listing for the enclosures for electrical equipment. And while the other four digit ones are more about standards for the actual EVSE, that enclosure, one, not all of the EVSE, have that listed. And so, while it was already in the RFP, people wanted it out and it created a whole lot of kerfuffle.
So if you want to have a staff's guide to UL listing conversation with me, by all means e-mail me or phone me. But otherwise I'll just spare you with, make sure you know exactly what you want before you put it in your RFP, or before you say this is what want to buy.
And this also includes—I don't know if many of you—I know, a lot of Clean Cities you work with your local state government or their procurement offices. So if you're looking at having something like this put on a state contract, to make sure that you work with those folks to understand what those are.
A lot of the other things we learned really, they don't come out until you actually put out the bid and you start, or the RFP, and you start seeing what the bids look like.
A lot of things around the communication of these chargers, some of them we wanted to put in parking garages that were a little bit underground and self-service would not work in them.
So some of the charging, the EVSE units, actually they have these sort of cell repeaters in them. But they might not work in your particular location.
So if you're putting out a broad contract or a broad RFP for a bunch of different locations, you might want to have a range of specifications that make sure that what you're, what you, the location where you're installing this that it can actually be, that it can be compliant with that.
And then the other major issue, a lot from municipalities as well, is that some of the units have subscriber services, so you need to recover that cost in the cost of charging.
Sometimes the subscriber will run the whole service for you, they will be responsible for maintenance. Other times the utilities have taken over that.
But you need to understand, for your context, who is paying for what, and who is going to maintain it. And basically what, you know, how they can even access it if this is in your private garage and you have a maintenance issue. Do you want to make that available to them.
And then a lot of the other issues came around revenue collection. We decided initially that we did not want free units anywhere in the public. That, even though you could opt to not charge, you wanted the ability to turn that charging on. By charging, now I mean charging dollars, not charging electrons.
So we really wanted to make sure that there were revenue collection options. A lot of people are moving to RSID-types revenue collections. So the little swipe cards, rather than the actual, the old fashioned credit card slots.
And then making sure that, as well, if you are working with a municipality, they might want to use some EVSE for their fleet vehicles. And so they would look a lot like those home-charging units, where you don't really need a lot of fancy smarts and electronics.
And then somewhere it's for the public use, and then you want to have that kind of, you know, vandal-proof, tamper-proof, type of model.
And then really a lot of the things we are learning, and that we only learned once, we really inspected the sites, is what the actual price to install it—the EVSE is versus just the box.
The price of the EVSE is pretty constant, pretty steady. But the installation it's just, it's amazing once you start thinking and once you start talking to electricians or, and the engineers, who come on site. Just with the range of prices are that we're seeing estimates.
So I think we'll have a lot of learning in the next 6 months, on how well our estimates met up with the actuals.And so I'd be happy to share that with a lot of Clean Cities. Because I know a lot of us are getting questions about how much it really costs to install them. And we're seeing a whole range, but hopefully, with more data, we can all start sharing that and get more realistic estimates together.
So the general feedback, how are they working so far? Well, we don't really have enough vehicles out there using them to really get any feedback. Idaho National Labs is collecting the data for both the ECOtality project and our project if our partners opted in to Idaho National Labs data collection.
So we have the, we're fortunate in that some of our partners, if they wanted nothing to do with the actual data collection, to report it back to me for the grant purposes they are able to be a participant in Idaho National Lab collection.
So we really just have one dedicated Leaf owner. We have a few Leaf owners now, but there is one, who, just for amusement and for the education and the greater good, is driving around and making sure that he is charging at all the different, all the different level two charges as they come, as they get installed.
We don't have our DC quick chargers installed yet. I have been, we communicated a lot, we , one of our working groups, we work a lot with Oregon.
They are showing that the quick charging, even though we say that they can charge in less than 30 minutes a lot, the bulk of the charge seems to happen in the first 10 minutes.
And so I think as more data comes out, as drivers learn what the impact on their battery is, they might not stay for the full charge. But really it's just too early to tell.
And some of you, if you're reading MSNBC, may have heard the story of the one Leaf driver who got stranded on his way back from Sea-Tac Airport. A lot of that has to do with understanding the vehicle, rather than the chargers. It seems that most of it is understanding the impact of driving your car in with one type of behavior, and then loading it full of family and suitcases and expecting the same sort of mileage. So most of the learning I think is coming through that. But we really don't have enough data.
So the summary of lessons we've learned so far locations we, I'd be happy to share that PSRC study. Some of that behavior, the driver behavior, and the parking lengths , and that sort of thing is really related to our local region.
But I'm happy to share our methodologies for how we found that data as well as the study conclusions themselves.
From a permitting approach we, the local government guidebook, does offer a few different options for not always inspecting every single site but having sort of an auditing or a permitting inspection only happening every, sort of, every five installations or something like that.
So there is, and as well as model ordinances are in our local government guidebook.
And then figuring out how, what to buy. Plug-in America does offer a UL listed website so it just, it keeps it up to date on what charging equipment is UL listed.
But again, the many different UL listings that are out there are still confounding. And so you might want to, I'd be happy to answer questions you have or you can work with others in the industry.
And then the other thing that we're working on a lot—and we'll be having a meeting about that soon, a sort of town hall meeting—is costing and pricing models. How much a workplace or a retail location needs to charge, or even just a public site needs to charge to either recoup costs or integrate it into their existing parking.
So what we're working on right now is we're partnering with Plug-In America. Our coalition did also receive dollars not just for the EVSE but also to do a lot of outreach work.
And so we're working with Plug-In America on a party kit, sort of the equivalent of a Tupperware party for EVSEs. And that is a lot of the data from the early hybrid adapters shows that most of them, there was this sort of cluster effect that when one bought one, and they showed it to their neighbors and friends and family, it was their neighbors and friends and family who were the next adopters.
So what we want to do is equip the early adopters with the sort of party kit that they need to introduce their vehicles and share the right information to bring that adoption on with their, with the people that they come into contact with.
Then we're also developing workshops, EV fact sheets. We're working with our utilities to do, I guess what you, I am calling them stuffers, I'm not sure what the right term is.
But basically, things that can be put into utility bills to describe what anyone thinking about maybe about getting an EV or a PEV. What they might need to know for their own home charging or for their business charging.
And then, on April 20th, we're going to have what I'm calling an unbiased workshop specifically for municipalities, employers, and businesses interested in installing EVSE. And we're going to be holding that at Puget Sound Energy.
One of the things we're noticing is that the charging equipment, the EVSE manufacturers are going around and trying to sell their units to all these people but they're selling them with their subscription services or their particular bias. And a lot of people are coming to us and saying, "Well, I don't know whether I should be buying their unit or another unit. What's the range? What are my options? How do I charge for this?"
And so we're going to sort of kick off that, trying to answer that, and creating a forum of users on April 20th.
And then I've also just put some resources on the slide for the model guidance for municipalities and our charging station information. As well as the I-5 corridor project, which is at WestCoastGreenHighway.com.
And that's my story so far.
LINDA BLUESTEIN: And what a great story it is, Stephanie. Thank you. And I think there will be a lot of questions and issues that come up that we want to get resolution to.
And so I hope that you'll be able to come back next calendar year and inform us about how some of these things turned out, and some of the twist and turns along the way.
But it's, some of our Clean Cities coordinators, like Stephanie, are extremely involved in what's happening in their communities. And I think you can tell from the acumen that Stephanie has and the knowledge that she's acquired, that she is quite involved in this area in her community.
And that she is going to probably be a major asset to the EVSE suppliers, the community in general, and to the automakers that are deploying the vehicles. So thank you very much, Stephanie.
And also, thank you very much, Joel, for your presentation. And we're going to have about five minutes from Witt Sparks and then we are going to launch into Q and A session.
So Witt if you want to take it from here, I appreciate it.
WITT SPARKS: Great. Thanks, Linda. Yes, so I work with Sandra Loi and Wendy Dafoe on the Clean Cities program for NREL. And, in particular, I do some work on our Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center Alternative Fuel Station Locator which, right now, has about 600 charging stations in the database.
And the purpose of this station locater is to allow EV drivers and users of any alternative fuels to find out where they can refuel their vehicles.
So the purpose of the GeoEVSE forum. The primary purpose is simply to raise awareness of the station location and our database of EVSE. And encourage people to submit their data and just to make sure that we have the most complete, and up to date, and comprehensive data set that we possibly can.
So let's see. Sorry, I'm on to the next slide. There we go. Yes. So we strongly feel, and I think everybody in the industry feels, that a comprehensive resource for charging locations will help provide the best possible experience for the EV driver.
As I said, we currently have 600 charging stations in our database and we're always looking for more. We want to keep on top of this as it's growing.
Here is some, here is a list of some of those resources. The station locator; you can actually download our entire All Fuel Stations database at that second URL.
And then we also have an interactive map of alternate fuel stations, including EV chargers, on an application that we call Trans Outlook.
So what is the GeoEVSE, then. You know, many people already work with our partner ICF, and contribute data to the AFDC. GeoEVSE is just an extension of that relationship.
We're encouraging folks to provide EV charging station locations to us to include in the AFDC. There is a link in the middle of that page that allows you to add and delete, to add new stations to the database. If you know of a large number of stations, please contact us. I believe there is an e-mail link on that page. You can also contact Sandra directly if you have stations that you'd like to submit to the database.
Some other things, let's see. Some other things that the GeoEVSE forum is going to work on in the future include—and I'm going to skip this, skip to the next slide here—metadata standards, which is a list of attributes to provide for EVSE.
And we're limiting the skill period of things that will help EV drivers find and use chargers. So we're not collecting information on things like usage statistics, or anything like that. We're limiting, we're limiting it strictly to things that can help people utilize EVSE.
Other things that the forum will discuss includes standard data exchange formats and standardized API's.
So right now, depending upon which network you're charger is on, it might speak a different language to do things like request real-time status, or to make reservations, or to get rate information. And we'd like the, we'd like the EV industry to standardize on data formats to exchange that information. Just to make everything more efficient.
So if you're interested in participating in the EVSE and GeoEVSE in whatever capacity, right now we have about 50 or 60 participants lined up. Ranging from automakers, to EVSE manufacturers to utilities, and a variety of other types of businesses.
Feel free to send an e-mail to GeoEVSE at NREL.gov. There is also a Web link at the bottom on this slide that allows you to just sign up automatically and that will guide to the distribution list.
The next step for GeoEVSE is going to be a webinar that we will probably do sometime in the next month or so. I'll be sending out an e-mail on that to all of the participants.
And then we're also going to have a presence at the EDTA meeting in April. That's all I had, I've exceeded my 5 minutes by just a couple. But if anybody has any questions, I'd be happy to take those.
LINDA BLUESTEIN: Thanks. At this time, Witt for your comments, and at this time, I think we should go ahead and take some questions from the people that are on the line and also by e-mail.
So maybe if somebody can announce how to do that, that would be great.
COORDINATOR: Great. At this time, if you would like to ask a question, if you could please press star one. Please make sure you un-mute your phone and record your name clearly when prompted so I may introduce your question.
And if, at any time, you'd like to remove your question, you may press star two. We'll take a few moments and see if we have any questions.
AMY: This is Amy.
LINDA BLUESTEIN: In the meantime...
LINDA BLUESTEIN: While we're waiting, I just wanted to mention that if you go to AFDC.Energy.gov, that website has been in existence since early 1990s.And it gets millions of hits every year and it has information about all the alternative fuels infrastructure, vehicles, prices of alternative fuel s, every kind of data point that you can possibly imagine.
In addition to all the great information on there, probably the biggest number of hits—the largest number of hits—come in to our AFDC station locator.
So the thing that we're, Witt is working on, is probably the most popular feature of this particular government set of energy department information. If there are questions, go ahead.
COORDINATOR: Our first question comes from Rick. Your line is open.
RICK: Yes. I had a question about the electric, the AFDC site. Are you going to be adding an app that allows you know, like iPhone, or, you know, users, Blackberry users, or whatever to be able to access that data easily?
WITT SPARKS: Are you talking about the station locator in particular?
WITT SPARKS: Yes. So we do have, we do have a mobile version of the station locator application that does work on Blackberry's or pretty much any device that has a Web browser.
I'll be the first to admit that it's a little bit primitive right now. We are looking into providing an actual iPhone app, or an application that's optimized for more modern devices. And that's something that we're working on scoping out right now.
RICK: So were you also be able to just select level one, level two, or quick charge, or whatever?
WITT SPARKS: That's, I don't believe that's a capability on our current mobile application. But you can do that on our Web application.
RICK: Okay. Cause I was just looking at some of the stuff and you go to, you know, for example, Oregon, you click on details and it doesn't tell you the details of what that is. This is just on the website when you click on the, you know, gives you a list of stations in Oregon.
WITT SPARKS: Right. So what particular details are missing?
RICK: Well, whether it's a level one, level two, whether it's got a JC17 72, or not. Or what type of, you know, connector it has.
WITT SPARKS: Right, right. Yes, the last time I looked at it, I don't have it in front of me right now. But I know that we have whether it has level one, level two, or DC fast charger in the database. And I thought that that was exposed in the details, but I could be wrong on that. And then as far as the connector type, I don't believe that's something that we keep.
Although I believe the assumption is that if it is a level one, yes, so, we just pulled it up and we clicked on one in Oregon. And if you click details, there is, it lists a whole bunch of fields.
And one of those, a couple of those fields, are a number of level one chargers, number of level two chargers, and a number of DC fast chargers at that location. So it does indicate the charging level.
WITT SPARKS: I don't see anything in here about the connector type, although I believe that if it's a level one charger or a level two charger, it's probably the JC17 72.
But we'll definitely look into that, and some thinking about whether we can provide that information explicitly.
RICK: So my question is where do you find it? Because I'm looking at the thing that has the map of the U.S. and then you click on Oregon.
WITT SPARKS: Oh. Okay, go. Okay, you might be looking at Trans Atlas. So you're looking at the thing that comes up with the map of the whole U.S. What's the URL that you're at?
RICK: It says AFDC.energy.gov/AFDC/fuel/electricity_locations.html.
WITT SPARKS: Electricity locations. Okay, I'm not sure. Yes, can you send me an e-mail and I can help you out with this offline?
RICK: Sure, that's no problem.
WITT SPARKS: My name is Witt W-I-T-T.SparksS-P-A-R-K-S@NREL.gov.
RICK: Okay. Thanks a lot.
Witt Sparks: All right. Thank you.
COORDINATOR: Our next question comes from Bill. Your line is open.
BILL: Yes, I wanted to ask what level of EVSE is appropriate for airports? For either speaker.
JOEL POINTON: This is Joel Pointon. For that type of location, most often level two is going to be most appropriate because of the amount of time. Are you looking at, say, commuter parking lots?
JOEL POINTON: Yes. My impression is what we're targeting for those types of locations would be the level two charging because of the amount of time the vehicle would be at that location.
The challenge comes in with airports, with how long people will leave their vehicle at those charging locations. We are targeting the DC fast chargers along the highway corridors in particular. And that's because we view that more as a trip continuation charging, as opposed to the level two destination charging, which I would put airports and other types of destinations in that category.
BILL: Thank you.
STEPHANIE MEYN: Yes, this is Stephanie. I'll just echo that....
COORDINATOR: The next question.
STEPHANIE MEYN: ...the airport is destination charging.
COORDINATOR: Our next question comes from Alan. Your line is open.
ALAN: Hi, this is Alan in Virginia. I was, I had a question for San Diego, and just with the multi-unit dwelling process. Do you guys, have you guys, developed any tools or just, you know, open letters, or basic information other than I've seen a number of different reports?
I was just wondering if you had letters or just a couple, you know, page synopses that we could maybe start distributing early to some of our interested multi-unit dwelling facilities?
MAN: We haven't been utilizing letters, we have been using meetings. And town forum-type of style meetings. As well as, site visits involving both the homeowner association and the property management—either the property manager or the property management company. Because often times you'll find these companies will manage a number of these types of communities within the same region.
Our next venture, and this is going to be presenting at the California Association of Community Managers in May, and that is their annual conference. And we'll be presenting basically the same sort of overview, with more details about the evaluations they may want to look at and the process.
It's important that they scope their project first. They have a sense of how many charging units they are looking at before we would get involved with, say, our service order team, to look at the infrastructure connections to the facility and the types of upgrades it would need to go on.
And then, it's important for them to also start prioritizing what type of business model are they looking at. Are they looking at dumb chargers and just putting it on a meter and allocating costs? Or, are they looking at smart meters that are able to identify individual users and assess the actual amount of charging that took place, or the length of the charging session, I should say? Because we are not allowed to charge for the resale of electricity in California. You can charge for the time period or the service that you are providing.
COORDINATOR: We'll take our next question. I believe it comes from Barry Carr. Your line is open.
BARRY CARR: Hi, this is Barry Carr for Stephanie. First, good job. But the second part of the question is, I'm assuming you had more than one vendor in your installations?
Do the vendors allow their chargers, do they allow the information to any kind of a third party, like you, or the utility to look at? So is the protocol there to talk to the various vendors of the chargers?
STEPHANIE MEYN: Well, we had the, I guess, fortune, you could call it, that of requiring it, because the money that we were spending on it came from DOE, we required that we had to have access to the data. And we did that through Idaho National Labs. And then, like we basically asked them to, because there isn't a standard protocol for getting the data, we basically asked them all to just sort of be able, as long as it was downloadable into a comma delimited spreadsheet type file.
And then we asked for the specifics charging event data. And Idaho National Labs provided us with what we wanted.
So I guess you're asking if there is really a mechanism for getting that data. And we had it through the grant. But if there is a standard mechanism, if you want access to that data, then I think when you're buying it, procuring it, that's when you want to ask up front whether you can get that.
I'm sure there is some things that, you know, you might not even want that they're collecting. But that's my understanding of, I mean, that's how we did it here.
I don't know if others have more options, and maybe Joel can speak to that. Or not.
COORDINATOR: Sure. Maybe check your mute button?
We'll take our next question. It comes from Francisco. Your line is open.
FRANCISCO: Hi. This is for either of the speakers. Is there any coordination of EVSE installations with potential users in the medium- or heavy-duty realms?
JOEL POINTON: You're talking about medium- or heavy-duty vehicles?
JOEL POINTON: San Diego Gas and Electric is hosting, at the end of April, a energy showcase at our convention center in San Diego. And part of that will be showcasing some of the medium- and heavy-duty vehicles that are coming to the market. And, we will also have an expo the next day, where the vehicles will be on display. And the representatives will be there for a modified ride-and-drive experience for the people that are attending the event.
So yes, we are venturing into medium and heavy duty as well.
FRANCISCO: Are you integrating those vehicles into your decision making about where to put the infrastructure?
JOEL POINTON: The decision making in San Diego that we've been involved in has been as part of the ECOtality EV Project and that is specifically for light-duty vehicles.
FRANCISCO: Okay. Thank you.
COORDINATOR: Our next question comes from Steve. Your line is open.
STEVE RUSSELL: Hi, this is Steve Russell from Clean Cities in Massachusetts. This Eco, so Utility Person, and that is your utility, the only utility that serves San Diego? Or do you have multiple utilities?
Because in Massachusetts we have many, many, utilities. And working, we're working with some of the larger utilities, but it's very difficult to do the stuffers and get information out when you have a utility for every community or just about. So any advice there would be helpful.
JOEL POINTON: Actually, we've worked with a number of the utilities that are in that region. And I'm originally from Massachusetts, I grew up in southeastern Massachusetts, and very familiar with the spread of utilities that you have out there.
The, we are lucky in that our service territory is one utility serving all of San Diego county and the 18 municipalities there, and a small portion of southern part of Orange County. So we do have a very identified location.
I do recommend the involvement of all utilities in forums like the infrastructure working council via EPRI.
Or other forums like the NPVI, the NPVI, the National Plug-in Vehicle Initiative, through EDTA to share information of what is going on with other utilities. And to try to coordinate as much as possible for the regions where you have shared zip codes, et cetera, for services. Because it can become very challenging for the user.
STEVE RUSSELL: Thank you.
COORDINATOR: Our next question comes from Coleen Quinn. Your line is open.
COLEEN QUINN: Hi, this is Coleen Quinn. Hello?
JOEL POINTON: Yes, Coleen.
COLEEN QUINN: Oh. Can you hear me?
JOEL POINTON: Yes.
COLEEN QUINN: Oh, sorry. Hey, Joel. I just have a clarification. You mentioned that in California it's illegal to sell electricity retail. I was wondering, I thought that the PUC recent phase one decision actually provided that, an exemption to that rule for EV service providers/hosts. Where, in the case, I guess electricity is used as a motor fuel.
So would that not be the case, electricity is not illegal to be sold retail if it's done through electric vehicle services equipment and providers?
JOEL POINTON: You're right and that there has been a distinction made for EVSE. There is the interpretation issue relative to the resale of electricity. And, as you know, we're working our way through the PD, the preliminary decision, for the CPUC.
But you are correct in that, but a charge per kilowatt-hour, I think is the issue that we've seen raised for many of the PUC's across country that would not be that type of pricing. It would be pricing for the service provided, or the time period that the service was utilized.
COLEEN QUINN: Okay. Well, but in California, the pricing, the pricing for the electricity, as well as for the services, are not regulated.
JOEL POINTON: Correct.
COLEEN QUINN: Okay. Thank you.
COORDINATOR: Our next question comes from Casey Tacno. Your line is open.
CASEY TACNO: Hi, this is a message for both Stephanie and Joel. Wondering if you have any comment on hybrid electric vehicle owners and the conversion market as a way of jump starting this, since we're seeing such a slow roll out of the new vehicles?
Did you guys, do you have some experience with, you know, previous conversion market?
STEPHANIE MEYN: Yes. City of Seattle. Well, there is a whole PHEV users group that was studied here by Idaho National Labs. So we have a group of converted plug-in hybrid vehicle users.
And what we are sensing is that most people are willing to wait another year for the, you know, the Toyota version and others to come out. Because the incremental price, or the cost of putting in one of those kits, people aren't really seeing that, getting its value back. The return on investment not being high enough for the fuel savings for that, for those, you know, for the amount of time that they are operating in that plug-in mode. There is a lot of data available from Idaho National Labs on that experience and how those, you know, how they're working.
But our sense, and certainly the market here, has been that people are willing to wait for the sort of OEM manufacturer direct plug-ins rather than the kits.
JOEL POINTON: And our approach is basically we're supporting anything coming to the market in the way of plug-in electric vehicles. It truly is a consumer choice as to, you know, whether they wish to do a conversion or to purchase what's coming to market directly.
CASEY TACNO: Stephanie, do you see anything coming out of Olympia that mimics what Colorado has done to help inset that cost model?
STEPHANIE MEYN: Not for conversions; I haven't seen anything. I mean, we do have for, you know, for all electric vehicles, there are incentives around sales tax. But I'm not sure about specifically what Colorado has done.
CASEY TACNO: Just a tax incentive to discount the, that initial conversion cost as a way of kind of priming the pumps . It's like we're going to see an even slower roll out than was initially forecast for the new vehicles.
STEPHANIE MEYN: Right. I'm not sure I suspect that our conversion kits would also be sales tax exempt. But with, I mean, even with that there, though, it's quite a high price. Again, we, we're offer, I mean it's consumer choice for sure. But the experience, so far, has been that it's the expense is not really offering the return that most users are hoping for.
CASEY TACNO: Thank you.
COORDINATOR: There are no other questions in the queue at this time.
LINDA BLUESTEIN: Okay. This is Linda Bluestein again. I just want to mention that if you go and if you Google INL and ATVA, which is the Advanced Vehicle, AVTA, which is the Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity. A lot of the data and information that Stephanie was discussing about the vehicle specifications and performance with these conversions and other types of hybrid electric vehicles, there is quite a bit of data on there.
And it's also going to be the storehouse for the data on the Recovery Act activities that are going on across the country through the Electrification grant for $400 million. Including the one that Stephanie's coalition and the one that Joel Pointon's coalition is involved in.
So please review our resources and also go to CleanCities.Energy.gov for more information.
And for the next quarterly, and for future quarterly webinars in this series, we'll be looking at actual usage of the, or actual data from the Recovery Act, and we'll be discussing those as the data becomes available.
We'll have Idaho National Laboratory and our other laboratories to discuss what they're finding, what they're saying regarding consumer behavior and charging behavior, and effects on the grid.
So we will be focusing on those things. We will be having some of these speakers back to find out how they're projects are progressing along with other Clean Cities coordinators and other luminaries from different utilities and from EVSE suppliers.
We'll try to have ECOtality and Colum also talk about their respective projects as well.
So keep your eye on your e-mail box and we'll let you know when the future webinars are scheduled in this series. And we thank you very much for participating today.
And Sandra, I don't know if there is anything else that we need to say?
SANDRA LOI: No, you're all set. And also, just so that everyone knows, we are going to be posting—with permission from our presenters—their PDF's of their presentations on our Clean Cities website.
So if you go to cleancities.energy.gov under our toolbox and training and our past webinars, we should have those posted up in the next week or two. And feel free to contact myself, Sandra Loi, which you've probably received announcements on this webinar about from.
Feel free to contact me directly and I can help direct you to those as well. Thank you.
MAN: Thank you.
COORDINATOR: This concludes today's conference. You may disconnect at this time.