On behalf of the Natural Resources Defense Council, MJB&A has evaluated the costs and benefits of increased penetration of plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) in five Northeast and mid-Atlantic states, including Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania. We are also evaluating PEV benefits in the state of Colorado. The analyses project societal costs and benefits for two different PEV penetration levels between 2030 and 2050, which bracket the states’ short and long-term policy goals for zero emission vehicle (ZEV) adoption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions. Four of these six states are signatories to the 8-state ZEV MOU, which seeks to put 3 million zero emission vehicles on the road by 2025 (short term goal). Most of these states have also adopted formal long-term goals to reduce transportation GHG emissions by 80 percent by 2050.
Compared to a business as usual baseline of continued gasoline car use, these studies estimate the total GHG emission reductions that could be achieved by turning the light duty fleet (cars and light trucks) over to PEVs, and the value of these GHG emission reductions to society. The studies also estimate the benefits that would accrue to all electric utility customers in these states due to increased utility revenues from PEV charging. This revenue could be used to support operation and maintenance of the existing distribution infrastructure, thus reducing the need for future electricity rate increases. These benefits are estimated for a baseline scenario in which PEV owners plug in and start to charge their vehicles as soon as they arrive at home or work; the studies also evaluate the additional benefits that could be achieved by providing PEV owners with price signals or incentives to delay the start of PEV charging until after the daily peak in electricity demand (off-peak charging). Increased peak hour load increases a utility’s cost of providing electricity, and may result in the need to upgrade distribution infrastructure. As such, off-peak PEV charging can provide net benefits to all utility customers by shifting PEV charging to hours when the grid is underutilized and the cost of electricity is low. In addition, the studies estimate the annual financial benefits to PEV owners – from fuel and maintenance cost savings compared to owning gasoline vehicles.
As shown below, the net present value of estimated total annual benefits in 2030 ranges from $107-$265 per plug-in vehicle in the five northeast states. These annual benefits (NPV) are projected to increase to $349-$520 per PEV in 2050, as the cost of PEVs continues to fall, and the electric grid is further de-carbonized.
Links to reports summarizing each state-level analysis are below. MJB&A has also produced a report detailing the methodology and sources used for all five studies; this report can be found here.
|Massachusetts||Released November 18, 2016|
|New York||Released February 14, 2017|
|Connecticut||Released February 14, 2017|
|Maryland||Released February 14, 2017|
|Pennsylvania||Released February 14, 2017|
|Colorado||Expected March 2017|
A press release on the analyses can be found here.
An NRDC blog post that discusses the results for the five northeast states can be found here.