Electric vehicle (EV) sales are continuing to rapidly climb even with a lack of charging stations in the United States. State utilities are now beginning to invest in EV infrastructure. Xcel Energy has recently announced a program $25 million electric vehicle pilot program in the “Gopher State” of Minnesota.
Excel Energy’s program supports Governor Tim Walz’s recent goal for Minnesota to get 100% of its electricity from carbon-free sources by 2050. The specifics of Excel’s proposal include:
1. An electric car-sharing program in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul.
2. Creation of 70 public charging stations or “community mobility hubs” in the Twin Cities.
3. Charging stations for heavy-duty and medium sized electric vehicles.
4. Conversion of government internal combustion engine vehicles to electric vehicles.
5. Program to address how the load for electric vehicles will be integrated into the power grid.
Sierra Club associate attorney Joe Halso said, “Xcel has designed one of the better programs in the country, because it includes creating charging options for heavy-duty and medium-sized vehicles and addresses how the new electric load created by transportation electrification will be integrated into the grid.”
In 2017, the transportation sector produced 29% of the greenhouse gases in the United States. Cars, light-duty trucks and sports utility vehicles are the primary source of greenhouse gases in the transportation sector. Utilities in Michigan, Maryland, Ohio and North Carolina are developing similar programs to Excel Energy’s proposal. In my opinion, Excel Energy’s program will accelerate the move to EVs in the United States.
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