June 2023 Gasoline Phaseout NewsJune 29, 2023
August 2023 Gasoline Phaseout NewsAugust 30, 2023
Electric Utilities Should Focus on Converting Gasoline Superusers to EVs
Every gallon of gasoline replaced with electricity used in an EV benefits an electric utility, utility customers, and the climate. Gasoline Superusers (drivers in the top 10% of gasoline consumption) switching to EVs consume about three times as much electricity as average drivers who switch to an EV. Accelerating gasoline Superusers’ switch to EVs means more revenues for utilities, lower electricity rates for utility customers, and bigger reductions in transportation emissions.
Utilities’ ability to invest in the power grid, set electricity rates, communicate with their customers, and influence energy policy puts them in a strong position to lead the transition of Superusers away from gasoline. The recent passage of legislation in Vermont enabling a utility to incentivize Superusers’ switch to EVs is a first step toward an industry-wide transformation.
Utility regulators, legislators, and other policymakers should encourage utilities to move faster by removing regulatory barriers to setting lower electricity rates for EVs and increasing rewards for utilities that convert Superusers to EVs and otherwise spur gasoline reduction.
Utilities that make it easy for Superusers to switch to EVs will win customers who use large volumes of electricity consistently. They should do this by focusing EV marketing and outreach on Superusers and providing targeted benefits to Superusers such as EV rebates, free or discounted EV charging equipment, home electricity, and accessible public charging. Utilities may recover these measures’ costs with the revenues generated from increased electricity sales.
Coltura’s research showing where Superusers are located, which vehicles they drive, their access to EV charging and their spending on gasoline would help utilities target their marketing and outreach to Superusers and in planning grid upgrades.
In sum, the faster utilities can take market share from the oil industry, the faster we will benefit from cleaner air, a healthier climate, and a more affordable and resilient grid.