Summary of Deloitte Research on International Electric Vehicle Programs and Policies

Measurement Canada contracted Deloitte to research international programs and policies that support electric vehicles (EVs) and EV-related infrastructure. Deloitte provided a report in March 2021 that focused on jurisdictions employing what are considered to be global leading practices concerning EV charging infrastructure ecosystems. The report provides information on electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) policies and programs, legislation, key technologies, device capabilities, and an EVSE market outlook in eight key regions: the United States of America (USA), at the federal level and the state level in California, Michigan, and Washington, as well as Germany, Norway, China and Japan. The report highlighted similarities and differences across Canada and the leading international EVSE markets across market dimensions of relevance to Measurement Canada. As a result, this report presented information from international programs or policies that can be adopted or adapted to develop kilowatt-hour (kWh) standards for EV chargers in Canada.

Types of charging schemes

Most of the international jurisdictions examined provide EV charging free of charge or based on kWh consumption. In Canada, most Level 2 public charging is free of charge. Flat-fee or per‑minute charging is most prevalent at pay-per-use charging stations, and there are only a handful of kWh charging stations. The report emphasizes that adopting charging based on kWh in Canada would support the transparency of EV charging as more publicly available stations transition to a pay-per-use model. It will also be essential to allow operators to optimize their pricing model to the technological capabilities of plugged vehicles. Flexible or dynamic pricing models will be fundamental to reflect advances in battery ranges. EVs draw power at different rates while charging and usually slow down their charge rate once they reach 80% battery charge.

Types of billing schemes

For pay-per-use charging, most public EV charging networks in Canada employ traditional payment methods (debit, credit) or mobile applications. Typically, memberships are required to access charging station networks. However, many network providers have established roaming agreements to enable seamless EV charging across Canada and the USA. Automated payment systems that increase the ease and efficiency of billing are emerging (e.g. Plug and Charge in Europe and China) across the international jurisdictions studied. However, in Europe, interoperability across charging station networks has been noted as a significant concern, with complex agreements needed to ensure seamless charging. The report highlights that automating the EV billing process can enable greater access to public charging stations and reduce payment processing times. A pan-Canadian interoperability standard will facilitate EV travel across Canada.

EVSE regulation

Measurement Canada requires pre-approved and inspected utility-grade meters to be used for charging based on kWh. Current EVSE metering solutions generally provide accuracy ranges of around 2%–3% for publicly accessible chargers. Metrology for alternating current (AC) power is relatively well established in Canada. However, Canada has no approved measurement standards or protocols for testing EVSE, especially direct current fast charging (DCFC). Internationally, some jurisdictions have published regulations to govern kWh charging, including the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Handbook 44 (USA), Eichrecht-Calibration Law (Germany), Guobiao/Tujian (GB/T) (China), and others. International accuracy for EVSE metering ranges from 0.5% to 3.5%. Of the jurisdictions analyzed, Germany has the most stringent regulations, employing a modular approach to metering. There is currently no single international safety certification standard for EVSE. The report highlights how the lack of regulatory oversight incentivizes charging stations to adopt less transparent charging schemes.

To support the transition to kWh charging standards, the report recommends that the standards developed stipulate an acceptable level of accuracy for existing EV meters operating today with revised levels of accuracy for new EV charging meters as both the industry and technology advance. Grandfathering provisions will allow less accurate EV chargers to avoid being retired before the end of their life expectancy. Harmonizing different standards and requirements with the USA is emphasized to help facilitate the deployment of EVSE and reduce the need for manufacturers to develop unique products for different markets. EVSE standards that can be harmonized include electrical safety standards, metering requirements, and communication protocols. The California Division of Measurement Standards' ratified code and the NIST Handbook 44 provide regulatory implications to consider in terms of benchmarks for metering accuracy, grandfathering provisions, and an approach to embedded metrology. The report recommends that Measurement Canada consider different accuracy tolerance levels for alternating current (AC) compared to direct current (DC) chargers. In addition, the time frame for implementing metering accuracy regulations for DC chargers may lag AC chargers, given that DC metering technology is still relatively new and international standards for these are still being developed.

EVSE technology capabilities

In Canada, the adoption of innovative EVSE technology is limited and dependent on local permits and manufacturers. Internationally, some jurisdictions are deploying fast charging technologies; for example, the USA is deploying extreme fast chargers (XFCs). In addition, some markets, such as the USA, Germany, and China, offer inductive (wireless) charging equipment for public transit and fleets. Other common related EVSE technologies include mobile applications and websites that help locate nearby chargers and provide an update on their status. Currently, the adoption of innovative technologies is limited. However, the report suggests that their emergence in Canada can be supported by increasing local permits for smart charging technology and providing funding for wireless and fast-charging stations.