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Electric Vehicle Strides Evident Across U.S. IOUs, Munis, Coops

Announcements this week by two IOUs and articles by APPA and NRECA show the move toward EVs will be a key driver for some of our grid’s biggest changes

New major electric vehicle-related moves by National Grid and by Southern California Edison highlight how utilities are preparing for a new reality for our grid, where electric vehicles will not only enable more economical and environmentally friendly generating resources to be optimally deployed, but where consumers will become more directly involved in optimization of the grid itself.

Along similar lines, articles in the past week by the American Public Power Association (APPA) and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) show how similar emphasis is being placed on the future role of EVs for municipal and cooperative utilities as well.

These stories are highlighted in today's Smart Utility newsletter and are the tip of the wedge of major change.  Perhaps, years from now looking back, people will realize the decades of an attitude of relative disengagement with respect to the grid for the average consumer will be seen as an anomaly in the history of the grid.  In much the same way that rivers have names and bridges have names, why should people be more intimate with the generating facilities and T&D infrastructure which serves them?  Why should EV charging stations be one of the only exceptions to the rule that your electric utility should be kept invisible in the background?

The NRECA and APPA articles, respectively, which are worthy of commendation are Elisa Wood’s June 27, 2018 article, “Electric vehicles are here: are utilities ready to charge forward?” in the Public Power periodical, which provides good advice to public power utilities (and all utilities) about how each region’s utility can show EV leadership, and NRECA Bulletin’s June 5, 2018, article which helps put EV range anxiety to bed once and for all, titled “Co-ops’ Road Trips Lead to Valuable Research on Long-Distance EV Travel.”

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