The Policy Committee tracks activities at state commissions and agencies, as well as at local governments and regional bodies.
The committee's purpose is to share information with ATE members on program, tariff and rate design; on stakeholder processes such as rulemakings and workshops; and to generally improve our understanding of best practices. For example, when a state commission rejects a use case in a filing, the committee tries to ascertain why and to suggest improvements (while remaining keenly aware of differing state laws and of the need to back all claims with evidence before a commission).
Some other facets of Policy Committee activities:
- Delving into narrower subjects such as charging issues specific to workplaces, multi-family residences, underserved communities, and public spaces.
- Reaching out to auto and truck makers, EV service providers and analysts in order to better understand long-term industry and technology trends.
- Working to boost awareness of EVs and EV infrastructure at all levels of society; among consumers, ratepayers, automobile dealers, trade shows, and through grass-roots groups.
- Engaging and educating state and local decision makers by organizing ride-and-drive events and virtual conferences, and by taking part in policy dialogue.
- Engaging with state legislatures, especially to resolve the question of who should fund state highway budgets as state fuel taxes continue to lag inflation.
- Assessing impacts on social equity and on communities of color, as transportation emissions continue to disproportionately burden disadvantaged communities.
- Aligning with like-minded NGOs, inviting them to speak to committee members and engaging with them in work at the regional and state levels.
The Committee meets monthly, at a minimum, as well as arranging occasional calls on selected topics for members. The task forces arrange their own meeting schedules.
Mid-2020 to present: Chair, Chris Budzynski, assisted by four Committee Vice-Chairs: Lincoln Wood, Southern Company; Jamie Hall, General Motors; Tom Ashley, Shell Recharge Solutions.
2018 to 2020: Chair, Katherine Stainken, Policy Director, Plug-In America (PIA), assisted by the leadership team of: Dan Francis, AEP; Lincoln Wood, Southern Company; Chris Budzynski, Exelon Utilities; Lang Reynolds, Duke Energy, Becky Knox, EEI, Tom Ashley, Shell Recharge Solutions
Senior Advisors: Nick Nigro, Atlas Public Policy; Bruce Edelston, Rick Tempchin
Policy Committee Task Forces
The Policy Committee has several task force subgroups that help us assess and respond to the constantly evolving EV policy landscape. Here are the task forces that have been active in the past couple of years and are meeting in early 2021. In principle, the timeframe for a task force is two years after which it sunsets, or is renewed, based on the needs of members.
Education and Outreach (E&O) Task Force
A joint effort of Plug In America and Edison Electric Institute in 2019, the Alliance's Education and Outreach Task Force shares ways to raise consumer awareness of EV models and charging station infrastructure.
Why? Because surveys show that even in states with high EV adoption rates consumers lack basic knowledge of available EV models, prices, incentives, charging station types, and more. Without such information people hesitate to buy EVs, they make poor choices in charging, and utilities struggle to plan technology and rate design.
The task force especially examines the role of utilities in this education.
ATE and PIA also highlighted the task force's work in a 2020 white paper, The Missing Piece on Meeting Transportation Electrification Goals: Utility Education and Outreach Programs. (Available on both PIA and ATE websites.) However, this task force will take a pause in its activities and reassess its future in early 2022.
Co-Chairs: Katherine Stainken, PIug In America Policy Director; Kellen Schefter, Edison Electric Institute Director of Transportation Electrification Programs, from 2019 through mid-2021.
Federal Infrastructure Task Force
This group studies intersections between state and federal-level EV policies. Originally created to evaluate opportunities in the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the group's mission now includes evaluating the EV impacts of federal programs such as PURPA and the Energy Policy Act, as well as looking for opportunities to coordinate with interstate/interprovincial authorities. This task force will examine the components of transportation electrification in President Biden's infrastructure proposals (America Jobs Plan), and monitor the developments in Congressional committees responsible for energy and transportation issues.
Co-Chairs: Lincoln Wood, The Southern Company; Phil Jones, ATE
Rate Design Task Force
Develops and shares best practices for utility rate cases, with an ongoing, regularly updated database of EV-related rate cases. Members can access templates, talking points and arguments, and analyze lessons learned in previous cases and settlements across many states. In candid, active discussions, members help one another advocate before utility commissions, Governors' Offices, state energy offices, environmental agencies, state and local government transportation departments, regional planning bodies, and others. The task force canvasses its members regularly on their rate design proposals in cases before Commissions, and coordinates with other like-minded associations.
Chair: Chris Budzynski, Exelon Utilities
Vice-Chair: Reuben Behlihomji, Southern California Edison
Road User Charge (RUC) Task Force
This group develops options for road user charges that members can use in their policy advocacy, working to promote fair vehicle user fees as revenue policy moves beyond gasoline taxes alone. Focuses include identifying areas of agreement and difference, as well as gathering data to inform decisions. The task force does not try to solve the entire transportation infrastructure funding challenge, but rather works to craft better ways to fit EVs into the mix.
Co-Chairs: Dan Francis, American Electric Power; Julia Gold, National Grid; Spencer Reeder, Audi
Equity/Diversity/LMI Task Force
Discusses transportation electrification-related issues of equity and racial injustice for communities of color, disadvantaged populations, and underserved areas in states or utility service territories. The task force works to facilitate dialogue on legacy issues as well as on opportunities to participate in the growth of electric vehicles and their infrastructure.
Co-Chairs: Phil Jones, ATE; Terry Travis, EV Noire, Michael Krauthamer, Senior Advisor
Interconnection Task Force:
Co-Chairs: Melodee Black, Southern California Edison and Kathy Knoop, General Motors