Fortune 100 companies, including automakers and utilities, have joined labor groups, consumer advocates, environmental organizations and others to sign the Transportation Electrification Accord— a written set of principles meant to inspire and continue the conversation around electrified transportation.
Advanced Energy Economy, Energy Foundation, Illinois Citizen Utility Board, Natural Resources Defense Council, Plug-in America and Sierra Club worked with diverse stakeholder and business interests to draft the Accord. The goal of the Accord is to educate policymakers on how to advance electric transportation in a manner that provides economic, social and environmental benefits.
We envision a world with zero emissions. That’s the future and the Accord lays out the essential building blocks for a compelling energy infrastructure that we can all rely on for decades to come. Innovations in transportation electrification will benefit society as a whole—and cross-industry, multi-stakeholder cooperation is key.—Britta Gross, director, General Motors Advanced Vehicle Commercialization Policy
Signers, including General Motors, Honda, Proterra, Exelon, NationalGrid, PG&E, Siemens, the Alliance for Transportation Electrification, Consumer Federation of America, Ceres, Forth, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Plug In America, Sierra Club and many more, are committing to support the evolution of electric mobility and the development of programs to accelerate it, while stimulating innovation and competition in the marketplace.
It’s clear that the future of transportation will be electric. The Accord provides a baseline from which utility regulators can support growing demand for affordable, electrified transport. Our signature on the Accord is a promise to meet that demand through greater grid efficiency and reduced air pollution in a way that benefits all communities.—Christopher Budzynski, director of utility strategy, Exelon Utilities
Regardless of policy uncertainty at the state and federal level, the Accord outlines how transportation electrification can be advanced by policymakers, public utility commissions and local and state governments in a manner that benefits utility customers and all forms of transportation.
Making the transition to an electrified transportation future requires long-term policy certainty. Certainty in the marketplace provides a signal to businesses to invest, thereby driving innovation and jobs. We believe the Accord provides foundational directions that will inspire policymakers.—Chris King, chief policy officer, Siemens Digital Grid
The Accord outlines how transportation electrification can be advanced in a manner that benefits all utility customers and users of all forms of transportation, while supporting the evolution of a cleaner grid and stimulating innovation and competition for U.S. companies.
Context And Guiding Principles
There is a clear case for electrifying transportation, which can provide benefits to all consumers (including the socioeconomically disadvantaged), advance economic development, create jobs, provide grid services, integrate more renewable energy, and cut air pollution and greenhouse gases.
Electrified transportation should include, not only passenger cars, but also larger vehicles (e.g., transit buses and delivery trucks), as well as off-road equipment (e.g., airport and port electrification equipment).
Accelerating an appropriate deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure based on market penetration projections along highway corridors, as well as throughout local cities and towns, is a critical element of electrifying transportation.
It is critical to support electric transportation at the state and local government levels, whether it be through governors, state legislators, state commissions, state transportation agencies, state energy offices, mayors, or local governments.
Electric utilities regulated by state and local commissions and boards, who serve the interests of the state and the public at large, have made substantial progress in accelerating the retirement of costly and less efficient fossil generation, and are poised to continue to make progress in promoting innovation, spurring greater grid efficiencies, and reducing harmful air pollution.
Under appropriate rules, it is in the public interest to allow investor-owned and publicly-owned utilities to participate in and facilitate the deployment of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) and/or supporting infrastructure for residential and commercial applications in their service territories to accomplish state and local policy goals. The distribution grid is incorporating new grid-edge features such as advanced demand response and distributed energy storage. In that broader context, utilities are well positioned to ensure that installed EVSE, whether owned by utilities or other parties, maximizes the public benefits of these innovations, through appropriate integration of these technologies in order to maximize electrical system benefits for all classes of customers.
The build out of EVSE must optimize charging patterns to improve system load shape, reduce local load pockets, facilitate the integration of renewable energy resources, and maximize grid value. Using a combination of time-based rates, smart charging and rate design, load management practices, demand response, and other innovative applications, EV loads should be managed in the interest of all electricity customers.
To drive innovation and foster competition in the transportation electrification space, it is vital that open charging standards or protocols are adopted for both front-end and back-end interoperability. An open system also promotes greater transparency of vital data and information, which can be shared with a variety of innovative companies. The guidelines developed by the Open Charge Alliance (OCA) should be used as the baseline. Data developed by third parties from behind-the-meter devices should also be made available to utilities for use in planning system architecture and EVSE.
Consumers and EV owners will benefit greatly from a smart, efficient, and open architecture throughout the EV infrastructure. Ensuring interoperability throughout the EV architecture means that consumers should be able to roam easily among the different networks, with a common identification and authentication process, with as little hassle as possible. In addition, key consumer protection principles should be adhered to for all deployed EVSE regardless of the EVSE owner, including transparent pricing and open access policies. Drivers who charge in a manner consistent with grid conditions should realize fuel cost savings. Mapping locations and signage of the stations should also be provided for all consumers.
Utilities should proactively engage their regulators, consumers and all stakeholders in developing rate designs, infrastructure deployment programs, and education and outreach efforts that benefit all utility customers and allow reasonable cost recovery, while accelerating widespread transportation electrification that supports a reliable and robust grid.
Best practices, standards and codes should be a priority for all transportation electrification infrastructure installations. As new open standards and more advanced security measures are developed, these should be implemented in a timely manner by all operators of EVSE. It is critical that industry participants continue to collaborate on consistent communication protocols between the vehicle, infrastructure and grid to ensure system safety, security and reliability.