Transportation electrification loads are rapidly growing and could account for 27% of global electricity demand by 2050. Despite that, a new white paper from the Energy Systems Integration Group warns state transportation plans required to access federal incentives for electric vehicle charging have not been considering the locational needs of the U.S. power grid.
The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure formula program, created through the bipartisan infrastructure law in 2021, provides $5 billion to states to develop a national EV charging network. The Biden administration wants the federal government to support the rollout of a half million chargers by 2030.
The Federal Highway Administration announced last year it approved plans submitted by all 50 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
But those plans “are not factoring in grid needs as part of their siting criteria,” ESIG said in its new report titled “Leveraging Locational and Temporal Flexibility in Transportation Electrification to Benefit Power Systems.”
As EV penetration increases and charging stations proliferate, experts say new demands will be placed on electric utilities, though states including California, Florida and Texas said in their plans that grid capacity was not a concern.
“Well-managed electrification across the distribution and transmission systems can reduce overall costs and emissions, improve equity outcomes, and help smooth variability in wind and solar generation,” ESIG’s report said.
Optimally connecting EV loads means charging site planning “should consider transmission and distribution constraints and locations where customers can take advantage of lower power prices,” Jennifer Chen, senior manager for clean energy at the World Resources Institute, wrote in the report. “Planning and siting could also consider hosting capacity analysis of transmission and distribution systems, optimizing existing land used for utility infrastructure and relationships with landowners.”
The Biden administration on Friday issued proposed electric vehicle tax credit rules laying out how EV purchasers will be able to qualify for up to $7,500 in tax credits. The president has set a goal for half of U.S. new vehicle sales to be electric by 2030, and sales are rapidly rising.
EV sales were 7% of new U.S. vehicle sales in 2022, according to the Alliance for Automotive Innovation. For the month of December the figure was 10%, the group said.