A.J. Siccardi, President of Metroplex Energy, will testify this morning on behalf of NATSO, NACS and SIGMA for a House subcommittee hearing on "The CLEAN Future Act: Driving Decarbonizaion of the Transportation Sector."
Siccardi will testify that federal policy should incentivize and leverage private investment in bringing alternative fuels, including electricity, to market and should not undercut incentives for retailers to invest in alternatives such as EV charging. "There has to be a viable pathway to profitability for any alternative to gain any meaningful market share," Siccardi said in written testimony submitted to the Committee in advance of the hearing.
The hearing is scheduled to be held at 11:30 a.m. Eastern by the House Subcommittee on Energy of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. NATSO members may watch a livestream of the hearing beginning at 11:30 a.m. Watch the hearing live here.
Additional witnesses include Joe Britton, Executive Director of the Zero Emissions Transportation Association; Josh Nassar, Legislative Director of the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW); David Jankowsky, Founder and President of Francis Energy and Michelle Michot Foss, Fellow in Energy & Minerals for the Baker Institute for Public Policy, Center for Energy Studies, Rice University.
Siccardi will testify that with the right policy framework and incentive structure, fuel retailers provide the best opportunity for advancing alternative fuels, including electricity, into the marketplace. Siccardi will discuss the role of the private sector in advancing electric vehicle charging in the marketplace and the need for public utilities to perform the necessary generation development and power grid restructuring work through its regulated monopoly.
“For any solution to work, it must promote competitive market dynamics and work with consumers’ existing behavior and the business infrastructure we have,” Metroplex wrote in its testimony. “If policy does that and ensures a functioning private market – then private dollars will make sure infrastructure is there to meet consumers’ needs. If that is not done, it is likely that any public dollars spent will be stranded and wasted in ways that do not serve an appreciable number of consumers and cost far more than any benefit they produce.”
Currently, several impediments make it challenging for fuel retailers to locate a pathway to profitability with respect to EV charging. Foremost is the threat of regulated utilities using their status as monopolies to gain a competitive edge over private businesses.
Regulated utilities should not be allowed to charge all of their ratepayers – regardless of income – a higher dollar figure on their monthly electric bill in order to underwrite the utilities’ investment in EV charging stations. Furthermore, many regulated utilities want to bill EV charging station owners more money for electricity than their own cost to power their utility-owned chargers. Such efforts discourage fuel retailers from investing in EV charging stations.
A productive partnership between utilities and fuel retailers, with each sector incentivized to concentrate on its core competencies, will ensure faster progress and at a lower cost. For utilities, the focus should be on modernizing the power grid to provide reliable, clean power and meet dramatic increases in demand that will come with enhanced EV penetration. At the same time, the market dynamics that govern the retail fuel industry today should be replicated to accommodate EVs. This will ensure that customers have multiple fueling options that are competing for their business.
Fifteen years ago, federal policies such as the Renewable Fuel Standard and the biodiesel tax credit created a strong incentive for fuel retailers to invest in the infrastructure necessary to bring cleaner-burning biofuels to market. This resulted in a vibrant market for biofuels because the private sector responded to those policy signals and incentives and made the investments necessary to bring new fuels to market. NATSO thinks the same approach will work with respect to EV charging infrastructure.
Metroplex Energy, a wholesale fuel company and a wholly-owned subsidiary of NATSO member RaceTrac, marks the second NATSO member to testify in recent weeks about the necessary policy framework to advance electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the marketplace.
Subscribe to Updates
NATSO provides a breadth of information created to strengthen travel plazas’ ability to meet the needs of the travelling public in an age of disruption. This includes knowledge filled blog posts, articles and publications. If you would like to receive a digest of blog post and articles directly in your inbox, please provide your name, email and the frequency of the updates you want to receive the email digest.