With more than one million electric vehicles (EVs) already on the roads in the U.S., and more than seven million projected by 2025, maybe sooner, now is the time to build the infrastructure necessary to keep these vehicles running. At Pepco, we are already thinking about what this growth will mean for our customers in the Washington area and what we need to be doing right now to continue meeting our customers’ growing interest in EVs.
As the local energy provider for the District of Columbia, Montgomery, and Prince George’s counties, we can play a critical role in the planning and deployment of EV infrastructure across the region. We are tackling this challenge with a commitment to doing our part to ensure every customer has equal access to affordable and convenient electric transportation options. This means we are thinking about how to expand access to electric transportation in cities and rural areas, along highway corridors, and for traditionally underserved communities across the region. From proposals for reduced electric rates for charging, to convenient public chargers, to rebates for charging equipment, we are finding ways to make the transition to EVs easier and more affordable.
An essential step is understanding customer behavior. We are working with community, government, and industry partners to understand how customers use EVs—not only their expectations and habits, but also their preferences for electric transportation options beyond individually-owned EVs, such as mass transit, commercial fleets, school buses, and ridesharing. Gaining this understanding will help us better serve our customers, large and small, as EVs continue becoming more popular.
Maintaining reliable service as demand for electric transportation grows will also require enhancements to the local energy grid and changes to how we manage our system. To that end, we are examining ways to avoid costly infrastructure gaps or significant shifts in peak electricity demand that could impact costs for customers. For example, we are exploring how prices can influence when customers choose to charge their EVs. Thinking holistically about our customers’ EV experience now, will help us mitigate potential impacts to the local energy grid in the future.
Our customers increasingly expect us to provide new services and choices—and EVs are no exception. Our footprint across the region gives us the opportunity to bring electric transportation options to every corner of the region and we are working tirelessly to make this a reality. #1MillionEVs is just another step in this journey as we work to power a cleaner and brighter future for our customers and communities.
As manager of Smart Grid and Technology for Pepco Holdings, Rob Stewart oversees the evaluation and deployment of advanced technologies on the local energy grid for Atlantic City Electric, Delmarva Power, and Pepco. His areas of responsibility include microgrids, battery storage, electric vehicle chargers, and the integration of local renewable generation.