A western utility wanted a plan to meet increasing customer demand for electric transportation in all parts of its vast service territory. It had created a transportation electrification plan (TEP) two years prior as a roadmap for encouraging customers to switch to electric transportation and making sure adequate charging infrastructure and grid capacity were available. However, the market changed dramatically in those two years and the utility felt it needed to update three aspects of its TEP:

  • The consumer and fleet demand for EVs kept increasing, so the utility updated its infrastructure plans to reflect the new forecasts.
  • The utility decided to refine its customer outreach and rates to continue to accelerate EV growth.
  • The utility wanted to include an emphasis on equity concerns related to utility investments, program considerations, and system planning.

Equipped with an updated TEP, the utility felt more prepared to meet EV goals set by its state.

How to create a TEP as a roadmap for EV initiatives

This story is indicative of a wider trend in the utility industry: more utilities are creating TEPs as roadmaps for their EV initiatives. TEPs are comprehensive plans that outline the paths utilities can take to accelerate EV adoption in their service territories and to prepare their businesses and infrastructure to integrate the new loads onto their distribution grids. TEPs can be a great tool for planning holistically (rather than just a paperwork burden mandated by regulators), but they need to be comprehensive and updated often.

We’re aware of 38 TEPs from 34 utilities (one plan is produced for each state a utility operates in). TEPs typically include:

  • Plan spending or total EV portfolio budget
  • Customer rates and incentives to accelerate EV adoption
  • Customer outreach and education programs
  • Infrastructure plans to support additional loads and to integrate renewables

Despite these common elements, TEPs vary, especially for what targets they’re trying to achieve. Some of the metrics included in TEPs are:

  • Greenhouse gas emissions reduction
  • Air quality
  • Clean-fuel credits
  • Number of EVs, charging stations, and participants
  • Spend and revenue
  • Consumption (measured in kilowatt-hours)
  • On-peak and off-peak consumption
  • Demand (measured in kilowatts)
  • Geodistribution infrastructure and participants
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Customer cost savings
  • Social justice and equity
  • Jobs and workforce
  • Avoided cost for EV grid services

The key to having a useful TEP is having an updated TEP. But the market is changing so fast that it can be hard to keep up. TEPs, like demand-side management plans, show a range of reporting cadence—from annual updates to five-year updates. Three-year updates seem to be the most common, but given the market dynamics, we think updates need to happen more often.

E Source can help your TEP succeed

If you are looking to create a TEP, want to update an existing one, or even compare yours with other utilities’ TEPs, we can help. E Source is creating a new solution area to help utilities deliver best-in-class TEPs—not just to satisfy regulators but to help you meet customer and grid goals.

We’re building a database that gives direct access to other utilities’ plans and compares the data within them to teach other approaches for rate design, outreach programs, and infrastructure plans. Our team of experts can even create the framework for your comprehensive TEP, including:

  • Roadmapping
  • Voice of the customer
  • Program design and optimization
  • Budgeting
  • Vendor assessment
  • Support in selecting requests for proposal

You can use our artificial intelligence models to calculate the inputs for your TEP such as forecasting for:

  • Territory-specific EV adoption
  • Grid impacts
  • Charging demand
  • Life cycle costs
  • Infrastructure requirements

Learn more on our Electric vehicles web page and contact us to start a conversation.

Contributing Authors

Vice President, Enterprise Strategy and Product Development

Rachel Reiss Buckley has followed the rise of smart technologies as they have grown to enable customer-centric demand response and energy...