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California Becomes First State to Deploy Submetering Technology to Drive EV Adoption

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Dive briefs:

  • California regulators last week approved a first-of-its-kind protocol for submetering technology..
  • Thanks to this decision, owners of EVs, electric buses and trucks no longer need to install additional meters to measure the power their vehicles consume, removing a major barrier to EV adoption statewide. will be
  • The CPUC’s decision is the culmination of a decade of efforts to develop submetering capabilities and standardize communication protocols, President Alice Reynolds said at a conference on Thursday. “We will accelerate and accelerate our efforts to give customers more control over how and when they charge their vehicles, enabling them to better manage demand and benefit from electric vehicle-specific pricing. I really want to do that,” she said..

Dive Insight:

The transportation sector accounts for about 40% of California’s greenhouse gas emissions, and vehicle electrification is a key component of the state’s decarbonization efforts. In 2020, Gov. Gavin Newsom passed an executive order aiming to make all passenger vehicles sold in the state zero-emission by 2035. Today, more than 16% of the passenger cars sold in California are electric, and the state accounts for nearly half of all EV sales nationwide.

CPUC Commissioner Clifford Rechtschaffen said at an institutional ballot meeting on Thursday that sub-metering would essentially eliminate the need for EV customers to install a separate meter to measure their vehicles’ electricity usage. . This is important because in California, EVs are subject to a special pricing structure, resulting in lower charging costs during off-peak hours.

“Today, you can charge your car for half to a third of the cost of filling up a tank of gas, in fact even before gas prices have risen over the past few months,” says Rechtschaffen. says. “But EV fares often don’t work well across homes and businesses, so most EV drivers today don’t opt ​​for EV-specific fares.”

According to the CPUC, EV-specific rates can significantly reduce the cost of owning an electric vehicle, but many customers are reluctant to purchase additional utility-grade meters, a barrier to EV adoption statewide. I’m here.

“This technology is a way around that,” says Rechtschaffen.

It’s one of the decisions issued by the CPUC, and while it may seem technical and challenging, Rechtschaffen said it promises far-reaching implications. Drive your car independently from the main utility meter. ”

In addition, decisions approved by California regulators specify communication protocols for EV chargers, which will enable vehicle-grid integration, Rechtschaffen said. Vehicle-grid integration is “a set of actions that shape when and how people charge their cars – when, at what level, how much power they send back, and the goal is to It’s about minimizing the impact and maximizing the consumer: you can cut costs or get paid to send power back to the grid,” he said.

Vehicle and grid integration will become especially important as California adds more EVs to its roads, potentially overtaxing the grid. Earlier this year, Pacific Gas & Electric and General Motors announced pilots testing bi-directional charging. This essentially allows customers to export power from their vehicles, which could help EVs become on-demand home power sources.