PA 16-135—sHB 5510

Energy and Technology Committee

Transportation Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING ELECTRIC AND FUEL CELL ELECTRIC VEHICLES

SUMMARY: This act includes several provisions related to electric vehicles, including requirements related to data collection, electric vehicle charging stations, and electric rate structures.

Under the act, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) must require electric distribution companies (EDCs, i. e. , Eversource and United Illuminating) to integrate electric vehicle charging load projections into their distribution planning. The act also requires the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to collect and make available certain information on electric vehicles in the state. It adds an analysis of electric vehicles to the required contents of the state's integrated resource plan.

The act restricts what types of vehicles may park in public vehicle charging stations. It also establishes disclosure, subscription and payment, and annual registration requirements related to the stations. Under the act, owning an electric vehicle charging station does not alone confer the status and regulatory requirements of a utility, public utility, or public service company.

Prior law required, within one year, PURA to determine whether it is appropriate for EDCs to implement electric vehicle time of day rates and certain municipal electric companies to determine whether such rates are appropriate for them. The act instead requires PURA and the municipal electric companies to make their determinations by July 1, 2017. The act specifies that the considered rates are for residential and commercial customers and expands the rates to include consideration of non-public charging stations and those that are not free of charge.

The act makes exceptions to the laws concerning vehicles that use or carry pressurized gas as a fuel. Prior law required all vehicles in the state that carry pressurized gas for fuel in a tank attached to the vehicle in any concealed area to display “Pressurized Flammable Gas,” or another standard abbreviation determined by the Office of the State Fire Marshal, on the vehicle's exterior. The act exempts vehicles that comply with applicable federal codes and standards for light-duty passenger use from the labeling requirement. Existing law prohibits motor vehicles that use pressurized gas for fuel from entering or parking in any area under grade level. Prior law exempted natural gas-fueled vehicles from this prohibition. The act additionally exempts hydrogen-fueled vehicles.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2016

1 — ELECTRIC VEHICLES DEFINED

Under the act, electric vehicles include:

1. battery electric vehicles, which are vehicles operated solely by a battery or battery pack or powered primarily in this way and use a flywheel or capacitor that stores energy produced by an electric motor or through regenerative braking to assist in vehicle operation;

2. fuel cell electric vehicles, which are vehicles that operate solely by use of a fuel cell (i. e. , a device that directly or indirectly produces electricity directly from hydrogen or hydrocarbon fuel through a noncombustive electro-chemical process);

3. range-extended battery electric vehicles, which are vehicles (a) powered mainly by a zero-emission energy storage device, (b) with a manufacturer rating of more than 75 all-electric miles, and (c) equipped with a backup auxiliary power unit that does not operate until the energy storage device is fully depleted; and

4. plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, which are hybrid electric vehicles (see below) with the capacity to charge the battery or batteries used for vehicle propulsion from an off-vehicle electric source that cannot be connected to the vehicle while the vehicle is in motion.

Under the act, “hybrid electric vehicles” are motor vehicles that allow power to be delivered to the driver wheels solely by a battery-powered electric motor that also uses a combustion engine to provide power to the battery, or any vehicle allowing a combustion engine or battery-powered motor to deliver power to the driver wheels, or both. Only plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are subject to the act's provisions concerning electric vehicles.

2 — DMV DATA COLLECTION

Required Data and Frequency

Under the act, by January 1, 2018, DMV must record the number of electric vehicles registered in Connecticut. DMV must post the information on its website and include the number of electric vehicles registered in the state each year and total number registered in the state. It must update this information every six months.

4 — ELECTRIC VEHICLE TIME OF DAY RATES AND OTHER RATE DESIGNS

Prior law required PURA to determine, within one year, whether it was appropriate for EDCs to implement electric vehicle time of day rates and municipal electric utilities with annual sales of over 500 million kilowatt-hours to determine, within one year, whether they should implement such rates. (This requirement became law in 2013. ) The act instead requires PURA and the municipal electric companies to make their determinations by July 1, 2017. It also specifies that the considered rates are for residential and commercial customers.

The act expands electric vehicle time of day rates to include consideration of non-public electric vehicle charging stations and charging stations that charge a fee for use. Under prior law, electric vehicle time of day rates were based on use of a public electric vehicle charging station, then defined as an electric vehicle charging station, electric recharging point, charging point, or electric vehicle supply component, that supplies electricity for recharging plug-in electric vehicles and allows any electric vehicle owner or operator to access and use the station free of charge.

Under the act, electric vehicle time of day rates are based on use of electric vehicle charging stations. An “electric vehicle charging station,” under the act, is an electric component assembly or cluster of component assemblies designed specifically to charge batteries in electric vehicles by permitting the transfer of electric energy to a battery or other storage device in the vehicle.

Prior law required municipal electric companies with annual sales of over 500 million kilowatt-hours to determine, within two years, whether it was appropriate to implement various rate design standards (i. e. , not solely for electric vehicles, but broadly), including time of day, seasonal, and interruptible rates. (This requirement became law in 2013. ) The act resets the deadline for this requirement; thus, the companies must now make these determinations by July 1, 2018.

5 & 6 — PLANNING FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLES

EDC Distribution Planning

Under the act, PURA must require each EDC to integrate electric vehicle charging load projections into its distribution planning. EDCs must base their projections on the number of electric vehicles registered in Connecticut and projected increases or decreases in electric vehicle sales.

The act requires the EDCs to annually publish on their websites, starting January 1, 2017, a report explaining the incorporation of electric vehicle charging load projections in the company's distribution planning.

Integrated Resource Plan

Existing law requires DEEP, in consultation with the electric companies, to review the state's energy and capacity resources and develop an integrated resource plan for procuring energy resources. Prior law required the plan, among other things, to indicate specific options to reduce electric rates and costs and analyze in-state renewable sources of electricity in comparison to other options. The act expands the issues that the plan must address. Under the act, the plan must also (1) analyze the potential for electric vehicles to provide energy storage and other services to the electric grid and (2) identify strategies to ensure that the grid is prepared to support increased electric vehicle charging, based on projections of electric vehicle sales.

4, 7 & 8 — PUBLIC ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATIONS

The act establishes new requirements for electric vehicle charging stations located at a publicly available parking space (“public electric vehicle charging stations”, i. e. , stations at a parking space designated by a property owner or lessee as available to and accessible by the public). Under the act, a publicly available parking space may include on-street parking spaces and parking spaces in surface lots or parking garages, but does not include parking spaces that are:

1. part of, or associated with, a private residence;

2. reserved for the exclusive use of an individual driver, vehicle, or a group of drivers or vehicles, such as employees, tenants, visitors, common interest development residents, or residents of an adjacent building; or

3. reserved for people who are blind or living with a disability that limits or impairs their ability to walk.

New Requirements

The act requires owners or operators of public electric vehicle charging stations to disclose the stations' locations and characteristics, including the address, voltage, and timing restrictions, to the federal database operated by the U. S. Department of Energy Alternative Fuels Data Center.

Under the act, station owners or operators who require station users to pay a fee must provide multiple payment options that allow public access, and they cannot charge subscription fees or require membership in any club, association, or organization as a condition of using the station. But they can have different price schedules based on such a subscription or membership.

The act prohibits anyone from parking in a publicly available parking space for an electric vehicle charging station, except for those operating plug-in hybrid vehicles or battery electric vehicles. It allows station owners and operators to restrict the length of time that an electric vehicle may be charged at the station.

By law, various weight and measurement devices must be registered annually with the consumer protection commissioner, who must charge registration fees. Under the act, public electric vehicle charging stations must be registered annually with the commissioner, who must collect a $50 registration fee.

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