Globally, automakers sold 6.6 million plug-in vehicles in 2021, more than double the 3 million sold in 2020 and more than triple the 2.2 million sold in 2019, according to the International Energy Agency. According to Kelley Blue Book, electric vehicle sales in the U.S. reached a new peak in the fourth quarter of 2021, making up 4.5 percent of all car sales from October through December.
As the cost of EVs continue to drop, we are seeing adoption rates increase among both our residential and commercial customers. In addition, several of our commercial customers have set emission reduction goals for their fleet which is critical in supporting EV growth. Our efforts to provide customers with accessible and affordable charging options focuses on working with regulators to create programs that benefit all customers. This includes offering customers low off-peak EV-charging rates, incentives for charging station installations and associated infrastructure upgrades, and consultative services to encourage electrification.
Several of AEP’s operating companies offer programs to support customers in their adoption of EVs. For example, Indiana Michigan Power’s IM Plugged In program offers incentive payments and discounted overnight rates for EV charging for residents and small commercial customers in both Indiana and Michigan. IM Plugged also has EV charging incentives in both states for commercial and industrial workplace, fleet, and multi-unit dwelling customers planning to install EV chargers. These include rebates for newly installed EV charging ports and or extended revenue credit options for customers that require new dedicated electrical service from I&M for EV chargers.
We are also supporting our customers that are seeking assistance in deploying EV charging solutions to support their fleet electrification initiatives. For instance, Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) is partnering with ChargePoint, an EV charging network. Through this partnership, PSO will identify business customers with EV charging needs and connect them with ChargePoint, which will offer its services to support our customers’ needs.
In addition, we are looking for opportunities to support our local communities to electrify their fleet. As part of a New Source Review settlement with the EPA, Appalachian Power awarded $2.1 million in grants to five school systems across southwest and central Virginia toward the purchase of nine energy-efficient buses powered by electricity. AEP Ohio and I&M plan to make similar awards in 2022. Electric school buses are quieter and less expensive to maintain and operate. In addition, they reduce children’s exposure to harmful diesel exhaust fumes and particles.