Dominion Energy Virginia recently announced another step to drive electric vehicle (EV) adoption, save customers money, and reduce emissions in Virginia. Rebates for charging stations for multifamily communities, workplaces, transit bus depots, and fast-charging locations are now available. A rebate program for the company's residential customers will launch in Virginia in early 2021.
The rebates for infrastructure, chargers, and network fees range from US$2000 to more than US$50,000 per project. The new Smart Charging Infrastructure Pilot Program was approved by the State Corporation Commission as part of the company's Grid Transformation Plan — a 10-year plan to transform Virginia's energy grid and give customers more ways to save money, more reliable service, and more access to renewable energy.
"We believe electrification isn't just the future of transportation. We're powering it in Virginia right now," said Ed Baine, senior vice president of power delivery. "Soon, parents in Fairfax will be able to send their children to school on an electric school bus, commute to the metro station on Virginia's first autonomous electric shuttle, and charge their EV while running errands around town."
Transportation is the largest source of carbon emissions in the United States and in Virginia, so transportation electrification plays a vital role in reducing emissions and improving air quality. In addition to rebates for EV charging, Dominion Energy is supporting the adoption of EVs in the following ways:
- Helping EV owners save money when they charge at off-peak times. Beginning in early 2021, Virginia customers who have smart meters will be eligible to enroll in a newly approved time-varying rate that will give them more control over their electric bill. The rate will incentivize customers to do certain tasks — such as charge their EVs — at times of the day when demand for electricity is low.
- Moving forward with the nation's largest electric school bus deployment. Beginning this fall, the first of 50 electric buses will safely carry Virginia students while also reducing emissions.
- Debuting an electric, self-driving shuttle that will make a loop between the Dunn Loring Metro Station and Mosaic District in Fairfax, Virginia. The project is the first state-funded test of autonomous public transportation in Virginia and is in partnership with Fairfax County.
- Helping public transportation go green. The first electric public buses in Virginia will be powered by Dominion Energy through a partnership with Hampton Roads Transit. The company is also working on electric public transportation outside Virginia with a strategic partnership with the Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority to power electric buses in South Carolina.
- Installing public fast-charging stations. Over the next year, Dominion Energy Virginia will install four public fast-charging stations for customers that can charge an EV's battery to 80% in less than 30 minutes.
- Transitioning the company's fleet to EVs. Dominion Energy Virginia has an ongoing initiative to transition a quarter of its light-duty fleet to EVs. Additionally, the company is installing EV charging at its office locations and has incentives for employees who want to purchase an EV.
The announcement comes as EV enthusiasts across the United States are recognizing National Drive Electric Week — a celebration to raise awareness of the benefits of EVs.
EVs are environmentally friendly and cost less to operate than gas-powered cars. They are easy to charge and fun to drive. According to Edison Electric Institute, EVs emit 54% fewer carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and drivers spend 50% less on fuel when compared with gas-powered cars.