9. Cost Tracking and Load Research

Additional research is needed to inform policies for the next stages of Electric Vehicle market development. Presently, many uncertainties surround the evolving market for Electric Vehicles and charging services. Among these uncertainties are the extent to which consumers will charge vehicles off-peak versus on-peak and consumer response to various time-of-use rate designs and metering arrangements. It is also unclear whether consumers in the residential context will react to time-of-use rates differently compared to consumers in the MDU context. While the impact of quick charging on Electric Vehicle adoption is projected to be positive, its impact on peak demand and distribution infrastructure is uncertain. In addition, business models and technologies are in flux.

The need for additional research was noted in the August 20, 2009 OIR, which stated that "quantifying the social benefits and system costs associated with Electric Vehicles could assist in the development of modified Electric Vehicle tariffs that reflect related costs and benefits."34 In addition, the California Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative's strategic plan envisions an Electric Vehicle data-driven master plan as critical to guiding infrastructure rollouts needed to support Electric Vehicles and maintaining grid reliability.35 Furthermore, as explained in the Rates Staff Paper, "after identifying the costs and benefits associated with the additional Electric Vehicle load and determining which of these costs are appropriately borne by the individual customer, the resulting revenue requirement can be determined." (Rates Staff Paper at 10.)

We appreciate that separately identifying and tracking residential Electric Vehicle-related costs could be challenging. Nevertheless, we find utilities should attempt to collect such data to inform future Electric Vehicle policy development. Based upon stakeholder input, we identify the following Electric Vehicle issues that, at a minimum, must be the subject of utility research:

(1) Track and quantify all new load and associated upgrade costs in a manner that allows Electric Vehicle load and related costs to be broken out and specifically identified. This information shall be collected and stored in an accessible format useful to the Commission.

(2) Evaluate how metering arrangements and rate design impact Electric Vehicle charging behavior.

(3) To the extent relevant, determine whether participation in demand response programs impacts Electric Vehicle charging behavior.

(4) Determine how charging arrangements, including metering options and alternative rate schedules impact charging behavior at MDU.

(5) Evaluate whether distribution costs are increased by different charging levels, i.e., Level 1, Level 2, and quick charging, in public locations.

(6) Separately track costs associated with Electric Vehicle-related residential service facility upgrade costs and treated as "common facility costs" between the effective date of this decision and June 30, 2013, and propose a policy and procedural mechanism to address these residential upgrade costs going forward.

We direct the utilities to jointly prepare an Electric Vehicle load research plan to track Electric Vehicle-related costs and address the other issues identified above. We expect that utilities will prepare the plan in consultation with relevant stakeholder experts, including working groups of the California Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative. The Electric Vehicle load research shall be completed by January 1, 2013 so it can inform the Electric Vehicle rate design recommendations submitted with PG&E's 2014 General Rate Case (rate design phase) and SCE's and SDG&E's rate design window applications in 2013. This research should also help the Commission's consideration of issues in the next market phase for Electric Vehicles. This load research shall include a publicly noticed workshop to allow stakeholders to evaluate and provide input. The Commission staff shall be provided regular updates, at least quarterly, on the substance and the progress of the research. The utilities shall file their load research as a compliance filing in this proceeding.

34 August 20, 2009 OIR at 14.

35 The California Plug-in Electric Vehicle Collaborative, Taking Charge: Establishing California Leadership in the Plug-in Electric Vehicle Marketplace, December 2010 at 28.

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