Should Utilities be allowed to Own EV chargers? - NY PSC says "NO" while others are more flexible
In the nascent stage of EV market, regulators and policy makers should not restrict new business models.
Let utilities demonstrate business models of ownership where they will always have role. Don't forget majority of small customers choose standard offer for their electricity services today!
California, Virginia, Colorado have allowed some form of ownership of EV chargers by the utility. In California pilots San Diego Gas and Electric proposed to own chargers, In Virginia, Dominion is not only owning chargers but paying for the school bus (Difference between Diesel and electric).
Colorado Xcel has a more refined approach, they are offering customer choice to either build their own chargers or as Xcel to build for them.
Many people have argued that utilities want to grab charging business, they want to control behind customers meters. We wish this was true, in our interactions we found that utilities are reluctant to go beyond customers meters and risking loosing customers. However, they also understand that the role a utility can play to bring new technology and business models to the market. One thing we all can agree that in order to develop competitive markets, we can not shut off biggest market participant and hope that by magic, small bootstrapped companies will be able to innovate. In fact most of the charger providers/ developers are banking on 100% government handouts in the form of make ready incentives, rebates and favorable permitting and siting. In this scenario one can ask " where is the skin in the game from the private sector?"