The Cal Electric Residential EVSE Program

Jul 14, 2015

In early 2013, after a competitive request for proposals, the California Energy Commission (CEC) awarded grant funding of $3.7M to AeroVironment, Inc. (AV) to supply and install Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE), also called charging stations, at the residences of qualifying electric vehicle buyers California-wide. The primary goal of the project was to expand electric vehicle adoption to further Governor Jerry Brown’s Executive Order, which directs the state government to support and facilitate the rapid commercialization of zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) in California, with a target of 1.5 million ZEVs on California roads by 2025. The order also requires that sufficient infrastructure be installed in the state to support 1 million ZEVs by 2020.

 

During the project, AV worked with automotive dealerships across the state to identify and qualify drivers, and sub-contracted with local electrical contractors to perform the installation work. The project exceeded its goals and objectives with the installation of 1,758 EVSE, approximately 23 percent more than the contract goal of 1,425. The project also resulted in an estimated carbon dioxide (CO2) greenhouse annual emissions reduction of 4,967 metric tons, displacing approximately 817,200 gallons of gasoline annually.

 

 

Program Goals

With the goal of promoting EV adoption in the State of California, the EV driver’s residential EVSE becomes perhaps the most important EV charging infrastructure component. From the State’s program, the problem statement in part reads:

“ . . . as more Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PEVs) are introduced into the market, the demand for supporting EV charging infrastructure will need to be accommodated. Often, new EV drivers lack sufficient information on the charging infrastructure their residence will require or where to get it. Making the wrong choice can result in high installation cost, unsafe conditions, and non-optimal operation. Facing these difficulties, many customers may have a negative experience throughout the purchasing and installation process, adversely impacting their view of PEVs as a whole. These problems are critical to avoid if PEV adoption is to gain momentum both state- and nation-wide.”

Under its contract with CEC, AV:

  • - Identified potential EV buyers for the Cal Electric: Residential EVSE Deployment program
  • - Qualified them for the program by working with over 200 California car dealerships
  • - Supplied and installed the EVSE in the residences of the program’s 1,758 EV drivers
  • - Collected data from the EV drivers to report usage and emissions reductions information

 

EVSE installed under this program charge a wide spectrum of PEVs that include: Nissan LEAF™, Chevy Volt, Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid, Ford Focus Electric, Ford Fusion Energi, Fiat 500e, Daimler Smart, Tesla Model S, and Honda Accord plug-in hybrid. EV driver and dealership sales staff training was a major program component. This project demonstrates how electric vehicles can meet California resident and state needs, thereby supporting widespread adoption. This project also assists the state to reduce its petroleum consumption, and helps to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

 

The 1,758 new EVSE supplied and installed through this project log approximately 670,000 charging events per year. The PEVs in this project log approximately 22,473,000 miles annually, which results in displacing 817,200 gallons of regular gasoline. This equates to an annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction of 4,967 metric tons.

 

Feedback from the survey of program participants overwhelmingly stated that this program succeeded in achieving the program’s goals. The final question of the survey asked: “Was the free level 2 EVSE charger program a factor in your decision to buy an electric vehicle?” Seventy-six percent of the respondents said “yes.”

 

Read the full article on energycentral.com

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