June 17, 2014
This paper provides an overview of the market for electric vehicle charging services, identifies actors and actions that might warrant regulation, and poses questions for policymakers to consider in determining the role that governments should play.
With almost two hundred thousand plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) sold in the United States, policymakers see economic and environmental benefits to supporting further deployment of PEVs. States are beginning to examine the infrastructure required to charge the vehicles—and the role that policymakers should play in this developing market.
A number of traditional concerns for electricity regulators are relevant to the market for electric vehicle charging, e.g., having prices represent the true cost of providing the service, and having costs borne by the people who benefit. Regulators will want to ensure that competition in PEV charging markets is effective, and that it provides the information and access to allow customers to choose the provider of the service. Policymakers will want to ensure that the regulatory process is equally accessible to all stakeholders. Some regulators may also be interested in—and authorized to explore—environmental goals.
While policymakers will approach these issues with different priorities, the fundamental questions are the same.
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