Electric Utility Rate Design and Transportation Electrification

Research Team: Nicholas Bowden (lead), Dan Sperling, and Jim Bushnell

UC Campus(es): UC Davis

Problem Statement: California has set ambitious zero emission vehicle (ZEV) goals, which will require a fundamental shift from gasoline fueling infrastructure to electric fueling infrastructure. The California Legislature and Governor’s Office have expressed an increasing interest in the role Investor Owned Utilities (IOU) and, therefore, the CPUC should play in the development of electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure. In 2009, Senate Bill 626 instructed the CPUC to evaluate policies related to transportation electrification broadly and initiated an initial CPUC Rulemaking that laid the ground work for future efforts. Executive Order B-16-2012 ordered the CPUC to help achieve infrastructure to support 1 million ZEVs by 2020 with explicit reference to integrating charging infrastructure into the grid. This Order was followed by another CPUC Rulemaking and IOU applications for the first infrastructure plans aimed at increasing access to vehicle charging in disadvantaged communities, multi-unit dwellings, and workplaces. CPUC Decisions instructing investment in charging infrastructure were given in 2016. Senate Bill 350 instructs IOUs to file applications for programs and investments to accelerate widespread transportation electrification. The IOU applications initiated by Senate Bill 350 were filed with the CPUC on January 20, 2017. This series of infrastructure programs puts California at the forefront of transportation electrification. This opportunity also poses challenges, and quickly identifying solutions will be critical to meet ZEV goals.

Project Description: Researchers from UC Davis have researched and summarized the CPUC’s rulemakings, decisions and applications pertinent to transportation electrification. Special attention has been placed on important policy decisions and open issues that will determine the path transportation electrification follows. The research team broadens the base of information and evidence within the CPUC proceedings by filing official comments, participating in open meetings, hearings and workshops, and actively pursuing the CPUC Decision D14-05-016 which provides eligible researcher access to IOU data in order to address questions of fundamental importance to the development and rollout of transportation electrification infrastructure.

Status: Completed

Budget: $80,000