There are only about 600 electric vehicles (EVs) registered in the state of Nebraska, with about half of those located within OPPD’s 13-county service territory. However, with improving technology and increased availability, the EV market is poised for growth.
“We have been following developments closely and working to learn all that we can about the technology, as well as customer trends and preferences, and the potential impact increased usage would have on the utility,” said Heather Siebken, Director of Product Development and Marketing for OPPD.
The district is staying ahead of the curve through its EV Strategy and Processes initiative. The initiative team plans to launch an EV pilot this summer, with two main components.
First, OPPD and the Nebraska Community Energy Alliance (NCEA) will co-fund and distribute $500 grants to customers who purchase Charge Point EV chargers for their home via OPPD. A website link for purchases will be available when the pilot gets underway. Look for more details next month.
In addition, OPPD will work to educate customers on financial incentives available when they purchase a new EV. These are expected to include:
- $3,000 rebate at participating Nissan dealerships towards the purchase of a new Nissan Leaf
- $4,000 grant from NCEA after the purchase of a new EV (only available in Douglas County)
- Up to $7,500 federal tax credit (depending on the manufacturer)
“The initiative team will also evaluate adding more EVs to OPPD’s fleet, when it makes sense to do so,” said Mike Donahue, manager of Transportation and Construction Equipment for OPPD.
OPPD has already incorporated some electrified vehicles into its own fleet. The utility currently has:
- 2 all electric Nissan Leaf EVs
- 4 plug-in hybrids (2 Chevrolet Volts, Ford Fusion Energi, and Ford C-Max Energi)
- 39 standard hybrids (Ford, Toyota and Honda)
- 3 bucket trucks equipped with a battery-powered boom
- 4 EV chargers
Throughout the pilot and beyond, OPPD will be tracking and monitoring impacts to its distribution system for use in grid planning. They will also develop a plan for managing those impacts.
Additionally, the district plans to install a mid-range (Level 2) charger for public use outside of its Energy Plaza headquarters, 444 south 16 St., Omaha.
The initiative team is presenting its findings and plans to OPPD’s Board of Directors during their May committee meetings.