EV Everywhere: Drive Electric Vermont Case Study

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In this case study, the U.S. Department of Energy’s EV Everywhere Grand Challenge looks carefully at the barriers and opportunities that exist to enable small and midsize communities to partake in the PEV market and benefit from the economic and environmental advantages of PEVs. In order to gain insight into these challenges and barriers, DOE selected Drive Electric Vermont as the subject of a case study based on its success in expanding the acceptance and utilization of PEVs in a rural, cold weather environment.

The Drive Electric Vermont Program can be broadly broken into four components:

  1. Strategic planning/leadership,
  2. Stakeholder/partnership development,
  3. Education and outreach, and
  4. Incentives.

Future plans include an additional round of consumer/dealer PEV incentives, continuation of the marketing campaign, and utilization of consumer surveys to develop new campaign themes and to optimize information distribution channels.

Some highlights from this case study:

  • In Vermont, the number of PEVs grew from 88 in July 2012 to 1,113 in January 2016, with a high percentage of the PEVs being plug-in hybrids (i.e., 865) versus all electric vehicles (i.e., 248).
  • The most popular PEVs in Vermont are Toyota’s Prius Plug-in and Ford’s C-Max Energi, which make up a combined 48% of the total PEV ownership in the state. There is no evident correlation between community size and PEV penetration; however, over 70% of PEV owners are in communities of 1,000 to 10,000 people. On the other hand, there is a close correlation between where PEVs are registered and where they publically charge.
  • The number of PEV charging stations in Vermont grew from 17 in January 2013 to 111 in January 2016, at a variety of venues including retail, parking (short term and long term), workplace, dealerships, hotels, education, leisure, and hospitals.
  • Over half the charging locations offer free charging. For those that do require payment, different pricing models are employed, including monthly memberships, hourly payment (where there is often a higher fee for the first hour followed by a lower hourly fee for the remaining hours), and energy use based on kWh drawn from the EVSE.