Speeding the Transition
Erika Myers is a principal at the Smart Electric Power Alliance and oversees transportation electrification research. She has over fifteen years of experience in the clean energy sector, with over a decade of electric vehicle experience in the state, private sector, and nonprofit sectors. In a previous position, she oversaw development and execution of numerous clean energy economic development programs in South Carolina.
What would happen in your community if every household with a vehicle had an extra 2,000 dollars in their bank account each year? In a moderately-sized community of 100,000 households with personal vehicles, this could add up to an extra 200 million dollars that could be spent on local restaurants, entertainment, or other local businesses.
What if utilities could design special economic development rates that promoted this kind of growth? Those new revenues could increase the tax base to enhance investments in education and infrastructure, reduce taxes, and ultimately spur the creation of new jobs and other local private investments. Electric vehicles present massive opportunities to divert billions of dollars spent on gasoline and diesel fuels, much of which leaves the local community, back to local economies and industries.
Utilities should be able to use economic development rates to attract large-scale, private sector investments in charging infrastructure. These rates are designed to be more flexible and more attractive than a standard commercial rate and potentially include financial incentives, such as infrastructure grants, tax credits, and low-interest loans.