Xcel Energy: Proposes expanding electric vehicle programs and high-speed public charging options in Wisconsin and Minnesota

Eau Claire, Wis. – (August 2, 2022) —To help drive toward the future of clean transportation, Xcel Energy proposed today new and enhanced electric vehicle (EV) charging programs and high-speed public charging options in Wisconsin and Minnesota to make charging at home and on the go easy, fast and more affordable for all customers. The plan also includes new EV programs and solutions supporting businesses, multifamily buildings, community charging, transit and electric school buses.

“Interest in EVs continues to grow and the expansion of both private and public charging will help customers address range anxiety and achieve significant savings on their transportation costs while delivering cleaner air for everyone,” said Mark Stoering, president, Xcel Energy-Wisconsin and Michigan.

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 potentially adding 750 high-speed charging stations across Wisconsin and Minnesota. 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 also 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.

”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 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.

Expanding our transportation vision

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. The new vision complements the company’s interim goal of enabling one out of five vehicles in the areas it serves to be electric by 2030.

Expanding the company’s transportation vision supports its overall goal to become a net-zero energy provider by 2050. By enabling a zero-carbon transportation future, the company’s clean energy can also help customers save billions of dollars in fuel costs and allow everyone in the communities it serves to experience the benefits of electric transportation, whether they own an EV, use public transit or benefit from improved air quality. 

Xcel Energy’s zero-carbon transportation vision for 2050 includes:

  • Providing the fueling infrastructure and energy system to run all vehicles in its service area on carbon-free electricity or other clean energy.
  • Ensuring all customers can access affordable, convenient electric vehicle charging at or within one mile of their homes and that underserved communities have opportunities to participate in Xcel Energy programs and the economic development benefits associated with zero-carbon transportation.
  • Operating a zero-carbon Xcel Energy fleet.

Xcel Energy was the first in the industry to set ambitious greenhouse gas goals across all the ways its customers use energy: electricity, heating and transportation. Under its 2050 vision, all vehicles would run on zero-carbon fuel, which may be electricity or other clean energy like carbon-free hydrogen for future fuel cell electric vehicles.

With Xcel Energy increasing the amount of renewable and carbon-free energy on its system, an electric vehicle powered with Xcel Energy electricity in 2021 was over 55% cleaner than a conventional gasoline-powered vehicle and is expected to be at least 80% cleaner by 2030, under its plans for reducing carbon emissions. Lower cost is another key benefit – charging an EV during off-peak rate periods currently costs the equivalent of about $1 per gallon of gasoline or less, saving customers $1 billion annually on fuel by 2030.  

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