Leveraging Low Income Electricity Discounts to Unlock Equity for Public EV Charging
Electrification & eMobility Track
Date & Time
Thursday, October 3, 2024, 10:30 AM - 11:15 AM
David Treichler Ashley lynn Qua

With the goal of ubiquitous access to public charging, GRID Alternatives and the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) are coordinating a robust project team to partner with the utility sector to develop and test new business models for discounted public EV charging. Representative(s) from the project team will present the initial results of these pilots, along with case studies. These pilot results will be replicable models that can be brought to scale, with utilities, communities, and policymakers across the country. The discussion will reveal the important issue of affordable charging access for low-income renters. Although home charging is not only convenient and cost-effective, many low-income individuals live in multi-unit dwellings (MUDs) and rental properties where the installation of personal charging equipment is not feasible and many MUDs lack the infrastructure entirely. To achieve true equity, charging infrastructure must reach EV drivers from all socio-economic backgrounds. Low-income renters are currently dependent on public charging, which typically costs 2-3 times what it would cost to charge at home. The result is disproportionately high costs for this subset of drivers. While many government and utility assistance programs help families pay for home energy, there are no significant programs at the state or federal level to address the economic burden of gasoline. The transition to electric vehicles is a generational opportunity to change that. This panel will discuss these aspects of charging access and the project as a whole, which is supported by grant funding from the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation (FY23 Ride and Drive, FOA DE-FOA-0002881). Attendees will hear about how to overcome barriers to affordable charging access for low-income renters, how to engage community and utility partners to pilot access to public subsidized charging, and the next steps and policy levers for bringing subsidized public charging to scale across the country.