While activity surrounding potentially transformative federal infrastructure and social program bills have rightfully stolen much of the spotlight lately, states, investor-owned utilities (IOUs), and the private market also made significant contributions to transportation electrification activity. At more than 298,000, U.S. electric vehicle (EV) sales during the first half of the year grew by nearly 140 percent compared to the first half of 2020, and the second quarter of 2021 had the highest quarterly EV sales to date. In Q2, EVs made up nearly four percent of all light duty vehicle sales. Global private sector investment during the first half of the year also surpassed the first half of 2020, with $77 billion of investments announced, representing an increase of about 22 percent from the first half of 2020. The number of charging ports in the United States also grew considerably during the first half of the year. More than twice as many charging points were added from January to June as were added during the same period in 2020. This growth brings the total through the end of June 2021 to 112,000 Level 2 and fast charging ports.
Investment in transportation electrification from Investor-owned utilities (IOUs) also grew substantially during the first half of 2021 compared to 2020. State commissions approved more than $460 million in transportation electrification programs that could support more than 1,700 DC fast chargers and almost 73,000 Level 2 ports. This is significantly more than the $60 million approved during the first half of 2020. The first half of 2021 also saw nearly $665 million of proposed investment, a major increase from the $158 million proposed during the first half of 2020. Notably, the average size of approved programs by dollar amount has also increased in 2020 and 2021, suggesting that utilities are moving away from “pilots” and toward full-scale programs. Through the end of June 2021, approved IOU investments come to nearly $3.1 billion and could support more than 6,200 DC fast chargers and nearly 224,000 Level 2 ports. The two largest approvals during the first half of the year were from New Jersey’s Public Service Electric and Gas Company’s (PSEG) $205 million Clean Energy Future Program and Xcel Energy Colorado’s $110 million 2021-2023 Transportation Electrification Plan. These programs made the Central Atlantic region and the Rocky Mountain region the first and second highest U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) regions for approved IOU investment in transportation electrification.
This report elaborates on the trends in IOU transportation electrification programs during the first half of 2021 (H1 2021). Using data from the Atlas EV Hub (www.atlasevhub.com), the report summarizes utility EV investment activity during the first half of 2021 and places that investment in a broader context. All data from this report is from the Electric Utility Filings dashboard on the EV Hub unless otherwise noted.
This report was supported by the Natural Resources Defense Council.