Xcel Energy proposes expanding EV programs, public charging options

(ABC 6 News) – Xcel Energy proposed Tuesday new and enhanced electric vehicle (EV) charging programs and high-speed public charging options in Minnesota and Wisconsin to help drive toward the future of clean transportation.

The plan also includes new EV programs and solutions supporting businesses, multifamily buildings, community charging, transit and electric school buses.

”Transportation is the largest source of carbon emissions in the U.S., and our plan supports Minnesota’s target of having 20% of light duty vehicles in our state be electric by 2030 – not only because it reduces emissions and delivers cleaner air, but because charging an EV at home is the equivalent of about a $1 per gallon when charging overnight,” said Chris Clark, president, Xcel Energy Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. “This means real savings for drivers and, importantly, our plan positions both Xcel Energy and the Upper Midwest as a national leader in accessible, affordable charging options through innovative customer programs and infrastructure.”

In 2021, the company launched a record 14 new clean transportation programs in Colorado and Minnesota. The new programs are in addition to those already offered to customers in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

This current proposal dramatically increases the number of public EV charging stations in the region, making it easier for drivers to charge on the go, by adding about 750 high-speed charging stations across Minnesota and Wisconsin, including up to about 1,500 charging ports total by 2026. The company will work with interested communities and site hosts on locations for charging stations in both urban and rural areas, particularly along interstates, state highways and other traffic corridors.

The proposal enhances the successful EV Accelerate at Home program, which provides a turn-key option working with local electricians to install a home charger, in both states to better meet customers’ needs and expands programs and charger options to help businesses provide EV charging for employees, renters, fleet vehicles and the public.

In Minnesota, an electric school bus pilot is also proposed, as part of the company’s partnerships, research and innovation initiative. Through the school bus pilot, Xcel Energy will help address the significant upfront cost and operational challenges of transitioning to electric buses and better understand how these buses can most efficiently support and integrate into the electric grid, among other research objectives.

Pending regulatory approval, the 32 buses will be used in a vehicle-to-grid demonstration project to help maximize the benefits of electric buses to schools and to the electric grid.

To continue driving progress on clean transportation, Xcel Energy also announced a new zero-carbon transportation vision that drives toward providing the infrastructure and energy to run all vehicles in its service area on carbon-free electricity or other clean energy by 2050.

For more information on EVs and available programs, visit xcelenergy.com/EV.