As electric vehicle sales increase (81% over 2017), industry observers are finding additional benefits – especially to electric ratepayers, that surpass those experienced by EV buyers themselves.
"These vehicles use a different kind of fuel and plug into our electricity system, and the good news about that is that there are a number of cost-benefit studies that are showing this can be really beneficial to all rate payers, not just the drivers of the vehicles," said Matt Stanberry, managing director of the advanced transportation program for trade group Advanced Energy Economy.
"As you increase electricity sales for charging the vehicles, it has the effect of driving down rates for all ratepayers because it spreads the fixed cost of the system out across a larger volume of sales."
That sounds like a scenario widely shared by the electricity community in recent years, where homeowners at the grid edge started using rooftop solar and “would be able to abandon the grid”, forcing the utility to levy its fixed costs on a rapidly-reducing remaining population.
Recent studies have examined the impact and benefits of EVs in California, and five Northeastern States. These benefits equate to hundreds of dollars per car annually, for three groups; EV owners benefit from saved fuel and maintenance costs, electric ratepayers from reduced fixed costs and society in reduced carbon emissions.