Few utilities offer electric vehicles tariffs

Washington, D.C., July 23, 2012 — Electricity tariffs designed specifically for electric vehicle (EV) recharging are a key driver to promote the growth of EVs. Currently, in the U.S. only 6 percent of electric utilities offer special EV tariffs and rates for their customers.

This is according to research by Northeast Group, LLC. The study benchmarks all of the EV tariffs launched to-date by utilities in the U.S.

The benchmark reveals that 22 utilities across 11 states have launched EV tariffs for their customers, as of the end of the first half of 2012. EV tariffs are important in helping increase drivers' adoption of EVs as they offer cheaper recharging options compared with standard household electricity tariffs.

In just the past year, utilities in Arizona, California, Indiana, Michigan and Virginia have added new EV tariffs. In Hawaii, Michigan and Nevada, more than 90 percent of state residents already have access to EV tariffs through their various utilities.

California and Georgia are next in line, where more than 80 percent of state residents have access to EV tariffs. The large California utilities were early pioneers in launching EV tariffs. As EV numbers grow over the coming years, EV penetration rates are likely to be higher in states with utilities offering their customers EV tariffs.

This can equate to savings of more than $2,000 per year for those recharging EVs versus refueling conventional vehicles with gasoline. Furthermore, special EV tariffs were found to save EV owners more money compared with standard residential electricity tariffs. EV tariffs can save about half the cost per year for EV owners, compared with standard electricity tariffs.

EV tariffs offered by utilities have been structured in two main forms to-date: time-of-use (TOU) tariffs and flat rate tariffs. TOU tariffs typically provide for cheaper overnight and off-peak rates for those recharging EVs. Flat rate tariffs charge customers one fixed monthly fee for recharging EVs. In addition, sliding scale tariffs — where rates increase with usage — can also be incorporated in some form with both tariff structures above.

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