In recent years, electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) have become more common in the United States. The purchase and use of these vehicles is expected to increase; a 2021 Pew Research Center survey found that over one-third of Americans (39%) are at least somewhat likely to seriously consider an EV as their next vehicle. A broad-based transition to EVs will improve air quality, lower vehicle operating costs, and support state and national goals addressing climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. Making this transition will require a comprehensive network of charging facilities.
Although private sector entities are actively involved in building and maintaining EV charging infrastructure, public sector agencies have an important role in planning the network. The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program, introduced in the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), places state departments of transportation (DOTs) at the forefront of implementing a sizeable federal investment in EV charging infrastructure. Whether charging services are provided by a for-profit, nonprofit, or governmental entity, an appropriate revenue model for EV charging services is needed to successfully leverage this investment to establish and sustain a comprehensive charging network.
An effective revenue model for EV charging services establishes price levels and pricing structures that:
- Support societal goals for climate, equity, and economic development;
- Meet and manage charging demand;
- Incentivize ongoing investment and innovation in EV charging and the power grid;
- Suitably allocate and manage risk and costs;
- Promote interoperability among charging providers and jurisdictions;
- Align with business models and priorities of charging service providers and utility companies;
- Are feasible within the relevant regulatory and governmental context; and
- Can adapt to changes in technology and service provider business models.
Research is needed to provide state DOTs and their partners with information on the options and effects of various revenue model characteristics so they can select and implement revenue models for sustainable long-term EV charging service provision.
The objective of this research is to develop a guide and decision-making support tool for state DOTs, other state agencies, and their partners for selecting appropriate revenue models that promote long-term investment and sustainable provision of EV charging services. The guide and tool will include:
- Information on current revenue models for EV charging;
- Perspectives and priorities of key public and private sector partners and stakeholders;
- Representative scenarios with a variety of contexts and conditions that affect EV charging;
- Business cases for revenue models for each scenario; and
- Effective communication of essential concepts and considerations related to revenue models for EV charging.