Electric Vehicles and Global Urban Adoption

A collaboration among the Center for Law, Energy & the Environment (CLEE), CentraleSupélec, and Florence School of Regulation (FSR)

 

California and France have taken leading steps in supporting the transition to electric vehicles (EVs), but each has substantial progress ahead to reach full adoption. What can these jurisdictions learn from each other’s successes and challenges to make EVs convenient and accessible to urban residents?

To explore these questions, speakers at our June 2019 international conference at UC Berkeley on electric vehicles and global urban adoption, co-sponsored by CentraleSupélec and Florence School of Regulation (FSR) in France, described lessons learned for electric vehicle deployment in France and California.

Based on the discussion, UC Berkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE) released the symposium brief: Electric Vehicles and Global Urban Adoption: Policy Solutions from France and California.

As summarized in the report, key challenges include:

  • Lack of access to affordable, convenient private electric vehicles;
  • Complexity and cost of installing charging in urban settings and existing multifamily buildings;
  • Declining federal incentives and insufficient vehicle demand;
  • Electricity rate design decreases the financial viability of charging stations;
  • Difficulty of adopting optimal charging practices that could benefit users and electric utilities;
  • Difficulty of adopting optimal charging practices that could benefit users and electric utilities; and
  • Need for grid infrastructure upgrades to avoid high costs on first-movers.

 

Priority solutions include:

  • National and state governments could require owners of existing multifamily buildings to install charging stations;
  • National and state governments could assist transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft in encouraging electric vehicle adoption among their drivers, through support for the deployment of fast-charging hubs, driver education programs, and new pilot projects; and
  • Electric utilities and regulators could develop new rate designs to incentivize charging while optimizing grid efficiency.

Because passenger vehicles are the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide and produce significant amounts of harmful air pollution from NOx, particulate matter, and other pollutants, jurisdictions around the world will hopefully benefit from these findings to rapidly accelerate the adoption of EVs. While consumers are increasingly switching to EVs, policy makers will need to design solutions to boost deployment at the local level, particularly for urban residents who may lack access to charging.

Review the June 2019 conference agenda and speakers below.


 

8:30 – 9:00
Light Breakfast and Conference Registration
9:00 – 9:15
Welcome

  • Ethan Elkind – Climate Program Director, Berkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE)
  • Yannick Perez – Professor of Economics, Florence School of Regulation and CentraleSupélec
9:15 – 9:45
Keynote: 
California’s Approach to Urban EV Deployment

  • Carla Peterman – former California Public Utilities Commissioner
9:45 – 11:00
Plenary session 1: Funding local public infrastructure

Urban residents, particularly in multifamily buildings without access to dedicated parking spaces, will need publicly available charging infrastructure to fuel their electric vehicles, whether shared or owned. Transportation network company (TNC) drivers may also need to access these charging stations. This infrastructure can often be expensive to permit and install. What state law and policy mechanisms best enable these local investments? How can local governments better leverage private funding? What legal and policy approaches from each jurisdiction offer the best path forward?

  • Tyson Eckerle – Deputy Director of Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure, Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz)
  • Dominique Lagarde – Director of Electro-Mobility, Enedis
  • Sara Rafalson – Director of Market Development, EVgo

Moderator: Icaro Freitas Gomez – Vedecom

11:15 – 12:30
Plenary session 2: Required investments and challenges for EVs in multifamily buildings

Urban residents in multifamily buildings with shared, dedicated parking will need charging stations installed on site for convenient EV fueling access. But landlords often lack financial and permitting incentives to encourage this installation. What are the most significant challenges facing the multifamily residential sector? How are policymakers and EV companies ensuring access for low-income residents? What legal and policy approaches from each jurisdiction offer the best path forward?

  • Doug Black – Mechanical Engineer in the Energy Storage and Distributed Resources Department, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Guillaume Dezobry – Lecturer in Public Law & Attorney, Fidal & University Picardie
  • Debbie Raphael – Director of the San Francisco Department of Environment, City of San Francisco
  • Alice Reynolds – Senior Advisor to the Governor for Energy, Office of Governor Gavin Newsom

Moderator: Ted Lamm – Climate Research FellowBerkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE)

12:30 – 13:30
Lunch (provided)
13:30 – 15:00
Plenary session 3: Optimal electricity rate design for EV adoption

In some jurisdictions, electricity rates can discourage EV adoption by charging significant demand charges for high-powered charging stations, which limits opportunities for siting these chargers in areas that might benefit urban residents. In addition, these electricity rates may fail to capitalize on opportunities to encourage charging at optimal times for the grid, such as during times of surplus renewable energy production. How can regulators incentivize adoption while protecting all ratepayers? What law and policy approaches from each jurisdiction offer the best path forward?

  • Yannick Perez – Professor of EconomicsFlorence School of Regulation and CentraleSupélec
  • Yulia Shmidt – Advisor to Commissioner Rechtschaffen, California Public Utilities Commission
  • Robert Thomas – Principal Manager, Southern California Edison

Moderator: Nancy Ryan – Partner, E3

15:15 – 15:45
Roundtable discussion: What are the optimal paths forward?

  • Discussion among all participants, attendees, and sponsors

Moderator: Ethan Elkind – Climate Program Director, Berkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE)

16:15 – 17:00

Site visit & tour of the Downtown Berkeley Center Street Garage EV charging-solar PV & microgrid-ready installation, 2025 Center Street, Berkeley

 

8:30 – 9:00
Light Breakfast
9:00 – 9:05
Welcome and Introduction to Day 2

  • Ethan Elkind – Climate Program Director, Berkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE)
  • Yannick Perez – Professor of Economics, Florence School of Regulation and CentraleSupélec
9:05 – 9:30
Keynote: 
California’s Charging Infrastructure for Urban EV Deployment

  • David Hochschild – Chair, California Energy Commission
9:30 – 10:45
Plenary Session 4: EVs and PV as Complements

Solar photovoltaic (PV) and EVs are natural complements, as EVs charging during times of peak solar PV production can “soak up” surplus power at low cost to the grid, particularly during times of otherwise low demand. In addition, purchasers of EVs often install solar PV as well to reduce fueling costs. What can electric utilities, automakers, EV charging installers, and customers do to support further solar PV development and integration? How can grid operators better integrate EV charging demand through electricity rate design and other incentives? What approaches from each jurisdiction offer the best path forward?

  • Sachu Constantine  Managing Director of Regulatory Program, VoteSolar
  • Icaro Freitas Gomez – Vedecom
  • Joshua Huneycutt – Energy Division Analyst, California Public Utilities Commission

Moderator: Jordan Diamond – Executive Director, Berkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE)

11:00 – 12:15
Plenary Session 5: Shared Vehicles and EVs

Smartphone technology and artificial intelligence is dramatically changing the transportation landscape, as transportation network companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft offer people new ways to travel via software and technology innovation and as the promise of autonomous vehicles may dramatically alter travel patterns. But the rise of ride sharing and vehicle autonomy may negatively impact greenhouse gas emissions and vehicle miles traveled by encouraging more driving. What can and should law and policymakers, automakers, and TNCs do to ensure shared and autonomous vehicles are electric and therefore zero emission? What legal and policy approaches from each jurisdiction offer the best path forward?

  • Steve Cliff – Deputy Executive Officer, California Air Resources Board
  • Jamie Hall – Manager of Public Policy, General Motors
  • Ramona Prieto – California Public Affairs, Uber

Moderator: Ethan Elkind – Climate Program DirectorBerkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE)

12:15 – 12:20
Conclusion & Adjournment for Optional Site Visit Tours

  • Ethan Elkind – Climate Program Director, Berkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE)
  • Yannick Perez – Professor of Economics, Florence School of Regulation and CentraleSupélec
13:00 – 15:00