About the Author

Charles Benoit

Charles covers legal, regulatory and policy areas for Electrek. A DC based attorney, Charles’ EV passion began when he joined General Electric at the same time the company launched its Yves Behar designed GE WattStation. Send tips to charles@electrek.co

 

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September 13

Sic semper tyrannis. True to its motto, Virginia has dealt a death blow to the tyranny of diesel school buses. A few weeks ago, we highlighted some successful electric school bus V2G pilots, discussed the countless benefits, but lamented that we seemed to be stuck with one-off pilot projects involving just a handful of school buses. But now Virginia and utility Dominion Energy have delivered us salvation: They will be buying a minimum of 1,050 V2G electric school buses over the next five years. That single purchase dwarfs all others, and will serve as the catalyst for a nationwide fleet conversion by bringing down the upfront cost of electric school buses. It will also hopefully shame the rest of the US into ceasing purchases of child-poisoning diesel school buses. But it doesn’t end there.

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August 23

“The batteries on this bus go bi-directional!” That’s what kids in White Plains School District, just north of New York City, can boast this back-to-school season. The kids already enjoyed riding five clean, quiet all-electric Lion C-type Electric School Buses last school year, and now those same buses have been fitted with vehicle-to-grid (V2G) tech to allow the bus to serve as backup stationary storage for the grid when parked. As with most things electric, the east coast is following California’s lead, where kids in the Torrance Unified School Districts began breathing easy on V2G electric school buses in 2016. expand full story

August 12

North Carolina is now the 30th state to allow public EV charging companies to offer pricing by the kilowatt-hour (kWh), instead of charging per minute. The change was thanks to bipartisan legislation — House Bill 329, Renewable Energy Amendments — passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Roy Cooper.

The vast majority of Americans now live and drive in places where private companies are free to set up EV charging stations and offer pricing for actual kWh delivered to the vehicle. Tesla calls billing by the kWh “the most fair and simple method.” Any EV driver would agree, as all sorts of factors including the weather affect the speed an EV will charge at, making per-minute pricing something of a crapshoot as opposed to how many kWh (like ‘gallons of gas’) was actually delivered.

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July 23

The five commissioners making up the State of New York’s Public Service Commission, which oversees utilities in the state, have told Tesla that unless it opens up its Supercharger network to other vehicles, its stations will get no relief from demand charges on the electricity rates they pay. Instead, only newly built stations that use “commonly accepted non-proprietary standardized plug-types” will get relief.

The commissioners clarified that Tesla could continue to offer its proprietary plug, but would have to offer equally powerful non-proprietary plugs at the same spot to get rate relief. This means that Tesla’s made-in-Buffalo V3 Superchargers will be discriminated against in their home state.

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July 10

Both the US and Canadian governments require individuals wishing to export/import their car across the border to obtain a compliance letter from the vehicle’s manufacturer. This attests that the vehicle meets all the relevant sections of the U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and the Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, depending on which way the car is going. (The US and Canada have gone to great lengths to harmonize these standards through the Regulatory Cooperation Council). The compliance letter also warns of any outstanding recall notices.

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June 20

Yesterday the Maryland Public Service Commission approved a proposal from three Excelon-owned utilities in Maryland to deploy 850 charging stations on public-use land. The percentage of those that will be DC Fast Charge stations has not yet been determined.

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June 18

Kentucky is now the latest state to find that Electric Vehicle Charging Stations (EVCSs) are exempt from utility regulation. Had Kentucky’s Public Service Commission (PSC) decided otherwise, it would mean that EVCS charging costs would be regulated just like your home power bill. But it would also have had heavy consequences, deterring private investment in EV charging infrastructure.

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June 13

Exciting news for California EV drivers tired of subscriptions and apps.

In the next couple of years, you should be able to use any public charger in the state with nothing more than a burner flip-phone and pre-paid Visa.

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June 10

Two weeks before Christmas 2017, US Charging network Chargepoint filed a patent infringement suit against its competitor SemaConnect. In its request for a restraining order against SemaConnect, Chargepoint claimed that its patents gave it the exclusive right to sell and operate networked EV charging stations in the US. Obviously this has large implications for the Electric vehicle market… expand full story

May 24

Tesla warned in a filing this week with the DC Public Service Commission that its customers could be excluded from reduced cost charging in the District of Columbia. This is because Pepco, an Exelon company and the electric utility in DC, proposed to the Commission on May 13 that “any public electric vehicle charging station for which Pepco provides make-ready infrastructure must permit readily accessible charging by a broad range of EVs”. This would mean Tesla Superchargers would be ineligible for the wholesale electric rate that would be available to other private operators like Chargepoint & EVgo.

Is that fair? expand full story

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