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UCLA/UC Berkeley law schools release policy paper on actions required to stimulate long-term, mass-adoption of electric vehicles; leveraging California

The environmental law centers at UCLA and UC Berkeley Schools of Law today released a new policy paper on industry actions and federal, state, and local policies needed to ensure that California catalyzes mass adoption of electric vehicles by 2025, with the goal of building a long-term market in the US.

At stake, the paper argues, is the future of the electric vehicle market. California accounts for 11% of the national market of annual new car sales, and well as more than 20% of conventional hybrid vehicle (i.e., non-plug-in) in the US. “With such a significant market share and volume of cars, California can help launch a sustainable and more robust electric vehicle market, with the country and world benefitting as a result” the paper—“Electric Drive by ’25: How California Can Catalyze Mass Adoption of Electric Vehicles by 2025”—suggests.

Despite promising early results from the introduction of electric vehicles in the US market, major challenges remain to achieving mass adoption, the paper notes. At a workshop at the UCLA School of Law in May 2012, key stakeholders, including auto manufacturers, charging company representatives, electric vehicle advocates, electric utilities, and public agency leaders gathered to discuss these challenges, and identified the following three obstacles as among the most significant:

  1. Lack of consumer awareness and information. Many consumers are unfamiliar with electric vehicles and their performance, while at the same time they may harbor common misperceptions about vehicle types, safety, range, impact on their electricity bills, and other facets of electric vehicle ownership.

  2. Lack of appeal to a broader market. The higher initial costs and limited battery range of some electric vehicles may make them less attractive to a broader market segment beyond early adopters.

  3. Lack of access to charging infrastructure outside of the home. Potential electric vehicle customers may be deterred by a non-home charging infrastructure that seems inadequate, difficult to navigate, and unpredictable in its pricing.

The paper outlines three high-level solutions, based on the workshop discussion, to the challenges of electric vehicle market development:

  1. Educate consumer, the media and elected officials through a simple an effective outreach campaign about the benefits of electric vehicles.

  2. Reduce fees, taxes and upfront costs for electric vehicle owners and invest in battery research. Among the suggestions here are the extension of the California AB 118 EV rebate program beyond 2015; creating federal and state tax incentives and lower fees and insurance payments for EV owners; distributing revenues from the sale of low carbon fuel standard credits to EV owners to provide them a revenue stream; develop battery financing programs; strengthen funding for EV battery R&D; develop alternatives to the gas tax to fund infrastructure; clarify the technical and cost requirements for vehicle to grid services; encourage the purchase of used EV batteries for grid operations.

  3. Plan for and facilitate deployment of a well-planned and easy-to-use charging infrastructure network.

California has a strong interest in promoting the adoption of electric vehicles, based on the benefits to the economy, environment, and quality of life. With electric vehicle sales likely to increase in the long term given projected improvements to battery life and likely cost reductions, the state should begin planning now to address the challenges associated with large-scale adoption of the vehicle technologies. Heightened public awareness, easy access to financing, reduced barriers to purchase, and a well-planned and maintained charging infrastructure will help the state become a leader in electric vehicle deployment by 2025. The state and local momentum to facilitate consumer adoption of electric vehicles will ultimately help California contribute to the global changes now underway in how consumers power their vehicles.

—“Electric Drive by ’25”

The paper, “Electric Drive by ’25: How California Can Catalyze Mass Adoption of Electric Vehicles by 2025 is the tenth in a series of reports on how climate change will create opportunities for specific sectors of the business community and how policy-makers can facilitate those opportunities. The contributing workshops and resulting policy papers are sponsored by Bank of America and produced by a partnership of the UCLA School of Law’s Environmental Law Center & Emmett Center on Climate Change and the Environment and UC Berkeley School of Law’s Center for Law, Energy & the Environment.

The author of this policy paper is Ethan N. Elkind, Bank of America Climate Policy Associate for UCLA School of Law’s Environmental Law Center & Emmett Center on Climate Change and the Environment and UC Berkeley School of Law’s Center for Law, Energy & the Environment (CLEE). Additional contributions to the report were made by Sean Hecht and Cara Horowitz of the UCLA School of Law and Steven Weissman of the UC Berkeley School of Law.

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Comments

D

To think that a few trees dieded for this lawyerly drivel.

Hardly Green...

Roger Pham

Agree with this article. The public will need much education regarding Plugged-in EV's (PEV's).

At current mix of power generation of 35% coal, 35% NG and 30% non-fossil fuel, a PEV will emit half as much CO2 as a comparable ICEV. If NG will replace the coal's 35% of the mix, a PEV will emit 1/4 to 1/5th the CO2 of a comparable ICEV. This is a tremendous reduction in GHG emission!!!

Over the life of the vehicle at 200,000 miles, the owner of a PEV will save about ~$10,000 in overall expenses of owning, maintaining and fueling of the vehicle. This is a best-kept secret that must be released for the benefit of humanity. Day-time charging will greatly benefit the installation of solar PV panels in soaking the excess solar output, allowing faster return of investment for those solar PV panels. Smart grid and smart chargers in the PEV's will stop the charging process momentarily in response in dip in output from the solar panels and can help smooth out the grid upon higher penetration of solar PV tied to the grid.

Future V2G with output from the PEV's back into the grid will allow 100% penetration of solar and wind energy because the massive and immediate output from these PEV's will allow the backup NG plants sufficient time to rev-up and come online, preventing brown-outs that may happen upon a sudden drop in wind speeds or solar output. PEV's will be vital for the future adoption of 100% renewable energy penetration of the grid. When PHEV's are equipped with V2G and plugged into the grid for most of the time, power black-outs will be thing of the past!!!

kelly

Some tears are shed about the EV1 crusher http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/10/us-generalmotors-autos-volt-idUSBRE88904J20120910

Hope our $50B +~10B bailout interest is clearly repaid.

Kit P

There is no reason to educate the public for making poor choices. Roger is incorrect when he states that BEV will reduce ghg. There is no reason to think a BEV will last 200k miles or save money.

“soaking the excess solar output”

There is no excess solar output. On a summer day, solar goes from zero to about 500 MWe on the California ISO. During the same time period demand increases a about 1000 MWe/hour.

“preventing brown-outs that may happen upon a sudden drop in wind speeds or solar output.”

Another problem that does not exists. Brown out are no longer a problem in California. Grid operators have demonstrated the ability to predict and manage variations in windout put.

ToppaTom

Assuming that Munro's numbers (in Kelly's source) are reasonably close and the actual running cost to build each Volt is about $22,000, and the Cruze is about $14,000, it is no wonder they crushed the EV1.

Nor can they just "drop the Volt price, sell more and make million$$" as some naively claim.

Toyota has always been very protective of the financials of the Prius. It might still chasing the break even point (when you include the cost of money) but for both the Volt and the Prius, the development money is GONE.

So the name of the game is return on production costs. They both spent their own money (or so we thought with GM) and made their choices.

Toyota is clearly coming out ahead when you count good will. But either way, Toyota spent its own money.
These lawyers think that wastrel, our gov, must be forced to make undesirable EVs succeed;’ we must be forced to spend our money on questionable goods.

Losers choosing losers –
With my money.
With lawyers as accessories before the fact.

The deal shines like a dead mackerel in the moonlight.

ToppaTom

Those barriers in the article?
They relate to our freedom to think what we want and buy what we want.

In their own words:

1. Lack of consumer awareness and information. Many consumers are unfamiliar with electric vehicles and their performance, while at the same time they may harbor common misperceptions about vehicle types, safety, range, impact on their electricity bills, and other facets of electric vehicle ownership.
- REPLY: Unaware of good point or bad points? See their own words in #2 and #3.

2. Lack of appeal to a broader market. The higher initial costs and limited battery range of some electric vehicles may make them less attractive to a broader market segment beyond early adopters.
- REPLY: Like, maybe they need to FORCE people to buy them, eh?

3. Lack of access to charging infrastructure outside of the home. Potential electric vehicle customers may be deterred by a non-home charging infrastructure that seems inadequate, difficult to navigate, and unpredictable in its pricing.
- REPLY: See #2, and the REPLY.

Mannstein

Any way you shine up a horse turd still makes it a horse turd and no amount of force feeding it to comsumers will make them swallow it.

wintermane2000

Right now most people wont touch a bev or plug in because they arnt there yet and no amount of blather and tripe will get that any better. They just have to wait till they are good enough to garner more buyers.

SJC

When were we all going to be driving on those wireless highways?

Roger Pham

@ToppaTom,
Thanks for bringing up some thought-provoking points. You're a great thought provoker! I've just thought of a way to make PEV's purchasing cost on par with a comparable ICEV.
This can be done by the mfg's quoting and selling the vehicle without including the price of the battery. The battery will be on a lease basis that the purchaser can pay out each month, perhaps by automatic checking account deduction for x number of months. Because the cost of electricity will be so low in comparison to the cost of petroleum, the net monthly cost that a typical PEV owner will pay for both the battery lease and electricity combined will still be significantly lower than the cost of fueling up a comparable ICEV car, when driven a comparable number of miles monthly. By this method, a car mfg can offer a PHEV for the same price as a comparable HEV. HEV's are selling well, and many buyers will choose a PHEV over a HEV because of energy security factor and higher max hp available with a bigger battery pack. Have a "need for speed" but can't afford the high petrol prices? Get a PHEV! Equip a PHEV with a V2G plug-out, and a PHEV will be a must-have! Energy security for your whole house. People who drive so few miles per day like Kit P probably will stick to their existing ICEV, but that's OK, since they are not releasing much GHG when driving so few miles per day.

One way to entice more people to buy a BEV would be for the mfg and the dealer to offer free ICEV car rental for so many hours to days per month that will accumulate if not used. A BEV owner will simply drive their BEV to the dealer or to a designated car rental company, park their BEV in the lot, show the driver license, and pick up an ICEV for long-distance trips. Since this process is already enrolled, checking out a rental ICEV will be very quick, and the parked BEV will be a collateral should anything will happen to the rented ICEV. Heck, if enough people will drive BEV's, most gas stations or convenient store can be a place to park your BEV, plug it in to charge it, and pick up a rental ICEV in less than 1 minutes. ICEV rental can be by the hours, so it will be very convenient for everyone to park their energy-drained BEV at a convenient store to pick up an ICEV to complete their extended-distance errand, and later return their rented ICEV to pick up their charged BEV for the drive home. There! Problem solved for the range anxiety of BEV's.

@WM2000,
I hope the above will make a bev or plug in "there" a lot sooner. Of course, you know that Ford has just released an excellent PHEV, the C-Max Energi, that is very competitively priced and offers high performance and seating for 5 with decent luggage space. Now, if Ford can just quote the price of the C-Max Energi on par with that of the C-Max hybrid HEV and lease out the battery pack on a monthly basis, that would be a steal!

ToppaTom

I think most of the heady enthusiasm and gov support was wasted on overly electrified hybrids.

I believe it is a given that mild hybrids are the most efficient use of batteries - but common sense has no place here - it's all about hype.

EVs are exciting, lets spend the peoples money to help the easily led, early adapters buy fun EVs.

Roger Pham

@KitP,
Following the same logic above, Toyota and Ford can sell their HEV's for the same price as their comparable ICEV. For example, a 2012 Prius can be sold at the same price as a 2012 Corolla LE automatic, with MSRP of $19,000. Then, the HEV feature of the Prius can be put on lease, payable on a monthly basis by direct checking account deduction or any other convenient payment method. Those who drive more than 30 miles a day will find that their combined fuel cost + lease payment monthly for their HEV's will be substantially less than the fuel bill of a comparable ICEV.

Of course, since you drive so little, you won't choose to buy an HEV...
...but, being a mechanical engineer by education and working for electric utility by profession, have you ever dream of what it feels to own a full HEV like the Prius? Or the C-Max Energi? Just the pleasure of ownership of the latest in automotive technology? Just looking at all the shiny parts and beautiful wiring under the hood of a latest Prius? The absolute quietness and free of vibration when stopped at a traffic light, knowing that you don't have to wear out your engine premature or overheating your engine from excessive idling, or making the oil dirty prematurely... Oh, these are just pure pleasures.

ToppaTom

The EV should be made to succeed on its own.

It is well over 10 years, the EV is closing in on the ICE - or is it.

Pretending something costs less when you rent or lease it is just an illusion, like rebates - trying to hide the real cost.

I do not think most of us are going to buy a full HEV like the Prius and dream that it makes sense.

The pleasure of ownership of the latest in automotive technology might mean an ICE paid for without the help of everyone else (everyone else who pays taxes, that is).

HarveyD

TT and friends....did you know that ICEVs are getting over $1T/year in hand outs just for the fuels (fossil + bio) and probably another $1T/years in 1001 other hand outs for manufacturing, retooling, retraining etc. If governments switch 80% of those hand outs to electrified vehicles, we would all have one for almost free within 15 years or so.

Two recent studies determine that wind energy can supply 10 to 100 times the energy that the world needs without fossil fuels. It is there to be harvested-stored-distributed. It would create 50 to 100 times more good paying jobs than coal and oil. Higher efficiency (2.4X) bladeless wind energy converters could be used to reduce noise, vibration and protect birds.

Roger Pham

>>>"Pretending something costs less when you rent or lease it is just an illusion, like rebates - trying to hide the real cost."

The real cost saving is in the fuel cost. Overall cost of HEV and PHEV can be $10,000 lower than comparable ICEV over the life of the car. By having a payment plan for the battery pack or the HEV feature, the owner will still pay less monthly than the fuel cost of a comparable ICEV. Yes, HEV's and PHEV's really cost less than a comparable ICEV, a lot less. And last a lot longer too, something you must consider. An ICEV may not last to 200,000 miles, but a HEV like the Prius can last to 300,000 miles and beyond, due to the reliability of the electric drive train and due to the sparing of the engine use.

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