Recent News

By Tag

See all

By Month

See all

RealClear Pennsylvania: The Time to Prepare for the EV Transition in Pennsylvania is Now

Posted by Nick Bibby on Jun 26, 2024

In an opinion column featured in RealClear Pennsylvania United's Nick Bibby urges the Pennsylvania General Assembly to pass House Bill 1240, which would require utilities to plan for electric vehicle charging infrastructure to support the growing demand for EVs and protect Pennsylvania consumers.

Every day here in Pennsylvania, more and more people are making a switch from gas-powered vehicles to newer electric vehicles (EVs). As a result, major automakers are taking note. Companies like General Motors and Ford have committed to transitioning their vehicle offerings to electric within the next 20 years. In just six years, Pennsylvania is expected to have 750,000 passenger EVs on its roads, with that number expected to increase for years to come.
Unlike gas-powered vehicles that rely on a gas pump, EVs require an electric-powered charging station to power up. Moving forward, we must ensure that Pennsylvania has the charging infrastructure to support the growing transition to EVs. This will require some planning, including how and where to strengthen our electricity grid; how best to use utility rate structures to incentivize and optimize the timing of EV charging; and how to best protect Pennsylvania ratepayers through this transition. Unfortunately, to date, Pennsylvania and its utilities have lagged far behind other states in that planning. That’s bad news for Pennsylvania’s electric customers, EV drivers, and the reliability of the electric grid. 
To paint this picture: let's say a company wants to electrify their truck fleet and move their tractor trailers from diesel-powered to electric. The amount of power that would be needed to power that one truck depot could power an outdoor sports stadium. Now imagine those sports stadiums popping up across the Keystone State – that will require significant investments in expanding the state’s electric grid to power these transportation electrification levels.
That’s why we need legislation to protect our grid and keep energy costs for ratepayers down. House Bill 1240, introduced by Rep. Joe Webster, if enacted, would require Pennsylvania’s electric utilities to develop transportation electrification plans and work with local, regional, and statewide stakeholders through that process. These plans will ensure that the utility is taking the necessary steps to prepare the electric grid for increasing levels of electrified transportation. Moreover, it would ensure that the rates the utilities are charging take numerous factors into account, such as when people are most likely to charge their EVs. 
To be very clear, this legislation is not about mandating EV ownership, or requiring utilities to build out charging stations themselves on the backs of ratepayers. Rather, it ensures that utilities are doing their part to strengthen our grid, without putting the burdens on customers in the process. If we do not take this necessary action now, utility customers could be hurt in the long run, having to pay a nearly $85 million bill per year without proper planning.
It’s time for the Keystone State to jump start this transition, and we need common sense policy to make that happen. Customers and automakers are already on board; we need the legislature and utilities on board. Together, let’s put our foot on the gas to protect the grid, ensure EV drivers can properly power their vehicles, and protect Pennsylvania electric customers in the process. 

Read the full article here. 

Topics: United In The News, Pennsylvania, Electric Vehicles, Nick Bibby