American Electric Power (AEP) hopes to broaden its support of electric vehicles in its Ohio service area with a new set of programs included in a June 2020 base rate filing with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. If approved, the company would devote $4 million per year in incentives and outreach related to transportation electrification. In 2018, AEP Ohio began a charging incentive program which led to $9.5 million in incentives over 17 months.
The filing, if approved, would provide up to $950,000 a year in incentives at residential sites. This would not only include single unit homes, but multi-unit dwellings such as apartment buildings and condominiums, as well. To qualify, AEP residential members must install a 240v (Level 2) charger and enroll in one of several demand response rate plans which will encourage “off-peak” charging, typically during the night, by providing lower rates during this period. AEP also could conduct pilots for curbside residential in neighborhoods lacking off-street residential parking.
By offering time-of-use rates to customers, AEP Ohio hopes to decrease maintenance and infrastructure costs by shifting EV charging times to off-peak times, thus lessening the strain on the grid. In places where similar time-of-use rates have been implemented, not only have they been effective at shifting charging demand to off-peak times, but they have also exerted downward pressure on rates for all customers and mitigated infrastructure costs. AEP Ohio plans to take important steps to educate consumers on their time-of-use rate options.
Range anxiety, the fear that an electric vehicle driver will run out of charge before reaching their destination, has been a substantial roadblock to adoption. With their recent filing, AEP Ohio plans to address this issue by providing $550,000 in incentives to customers installing publicly available fast chargers along major transportation corridors. AEP hopes to identify five corridor charging sites in its central Ohio service area, annually.
AEP Ohio hopes to expand its electric vehicle programming to include new and innovative electrified transportation solutions by matching pilot funds designed to develop and integrate energy storage and autonomous transportation solutions.
The utility seeks to ensure broad access to electric transportation through incentives for electric public transit and electric school buses along with related infrastructure. Together with the new technologies funding, $650,000 will be devoted to this focus, annually.
The filing also calls for $1.45 million in public, workplace, and fleet electric vehicle charging rebates annually. AEP hopes to install 120 such ports each year, greatly increasing access to charging away from the home and providing economic development to areas surrounding charging sites.
In addition to the plan’s provision for multi-unit charging, AEP hopes to expand access to clean transportation across all socioeconomic strata by providing increased incentives for customers in low income neighborhoods.
AEP Electric Transportation manager, Jeffrey Lehman, submitted testimony in support of the electric company’s broad electrification focus saying, “This benefit accrues to all drivers or operators of EVs moving through or within AEP Ohio’s service territory, and ensures all AEP Ohio customers will have equitable access to charging facilities regardless of their work or housing situation.”
You can find the testimony here.