Monday, November 13, 2023
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Revving Up Equity: Electric Vehicle Adoption among Hard-to-Reach Populations
Session ID
C1 - Electric Vehicles and Equity
Samantha Lamos

Low-income households currently spend over twice as much of their household income on transportation as middle- to high-income households (Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 2021). Lower-income, hard-to-reach populations have been slower to adopt electric vehicles (EVs) due to barriers such as high upfront cost, lack of accessible charging infrastructure, and lack of adequate incentives for new and used EVs. To equitably promote EVs, utilities must consider the significant barriers facing hard-to-reach populations to meet the needs of this customer segment. To date, however, primary research directly with EV drivers from hard-to-reach customer segments has been limited. We have conducted research into two innovative and equity-focused transportation electrification utility offerings. In 2018, Portland General Electric (PGE) became one of the first utilities to launch a set of one-of-a-kind pilot programs aimed at lowering barriers to EV adoption and increasing access to charging infrastructure for rideshare and on-demand delivery drivers who often intersect with hard-to-reach communities. Xcel Energy Colorado has also been at the forefront of supporting equitable transportation electrification by working with dealerships to offer EV and charger rebates to income-qualified customers and understand barriers to EV adoption. This presentation will weave together perspectives from both utility programs including in-depth interviews with Xcel Energy income-qualified customers, Xcel Energy car dealership representatives who have the vital job of communicating the benefits of owning an EV to potential customers, and the results from focus groups with rideshare drivers who participated in PGE’s Electric Avenue offering. When reviewed in tandem, these research efforts reveal gaps in communication between EV drivers and dealers and provide key insights into the needs of hard-to-reach EV drivers. This presentation will discuss how to more effectively meet the needs of these customer segments and deploy equitable strategies to increase access to EVs.

Supporting Document 1