Charge Ahead Partnership is advocating for a competitive and level playing field for all businesses that want to offer publicly available electric vehicle (EV) charging in Nebraska. We believe that the fastest and most economical way to build out a robust charging network in Nebraska is through a competitive, market-based approach which removes the barriers disincentivizing private investment in EV charging. We aim to work collaboratively with all stakeholders to find commonsense solutions that will unlock the market’s full potential without unfairly shifting the cost burden to non-EV users. In order for a competitive and efficient charging network to develop in Nebraska, we must create opportunities for private investment in the EV charging industry.
The first change that Nebraska must make is to permit private companies who own and operate charging stations to sell electricity for charging. Currently, only entities regulated as utilities are permitted to sell electricity for any purpose, creating a barrier for any private companies that wish to own and operate chargers. A statutory change of this nature would be common-sense legislation to allow for competition in the market and support private investment in the EV charging network.
Additionally, fair competition must also be allowed to shape the market. Power companies cannot be allowed to rate-base when developing their EV charging stations. Rate-basing allows electric utilities to source the funding for their ownership and operation of EV charging stations from the electric bills of all their customers, an option not available to other EV charging retailers. Private retailers will not invest in building their own EV charging stations if there is a threat of their investment being undercut by utility-owned chargers built through rate-basing exists.
Finally, there must be a fair and transparent rate set for electricity used for EV charging. Antiquated rate structures can double or triple the electric bill of a business wishing to operate DCFC charging stations. This is due to demand charges, additional fees on a business’s electric bill based on the highest level of energy consumption in a short window during the billing period, triggered by one EV driver recharging at a fast charging station. Additionally, language must be put in place to ensure that power companies charge the same rates for electricity being sold to private entities for EV charging that they charge themselves or their subsidiaries.
Charging an EV should be as convenient, safe and accessible as getting gas. A robust charging network is essential to supporting the EV owners of today and tomorrow. In order for these goals to be realized, competition is essential as it will lower prices, increase efficiency and deliver an improved consumer experience across the board.
2023 Nebraska Legislative Session Update:
Charge Ahead Partnership was actively engaged in Nebraska’s 2023 Legislative Session. CAP raised concerns with LB 505. This bill would have allowed EV charging operators to resell electricity for EV charging without being regulated as an electric utility, a necessity for private investment. However this bill also included concerning language which would have further encouraged utility rate-basing, keeping private investment out of the market and increasing costs on ratepayers. All language related to EV charging was stripped out of LB 505 while the bill was in committee.
Charge Ahead Partnership is committed to continue advocating for policies that will ensure Nebraska's EV charging market develops on a level playing field going forward.
Join the effort to expand the EV charging network in Nebraska quickly, efficiently and fairly. Sign up to support the cause and stay connected.