Xcel Energy Wants to Power 1.5 Million Electric Vehicles by 2030

by | Aug 14, 2020

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Xcel Energy Wants to Power 1.5 Million Electric Vehicles by 2030

(Photo Credit: lobpreis on Pixabay)

Xcel Energy announced plans this week to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles, with the goal of seeing 1.5 million EVs added to its service areas over the next decade. The move would save customers $1 billion annually on fuel, the utility says.

Based in Minneapolis, Xcel Energy serves businesses across eight Western and Midwestern states. The major US electric and natural gas company said that powering 1.5 million EVs — more than 30 times the current total — would reduce carbon emissions by nearly 5 million tons annually by 2030. Those reductions support the company’s target of 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050.

“Driving electric is equal to spending about $1 per gallon of gas and can be significantly less when charging overnight,” Xcel Energy noted. “By 2030, an EV would cost $700 less per year to fuel than a gas-powered car.” Electricity customers such as ride-share companies, public transit, and other fleet operators could see substantial savings from EV adoption, according to the utility.

Internally, the energy company plans to electrify its own operations: all sedans by 2023, all light-duty vehicles by 2030, and 30% of its medium- and heavy-duty vehicles electrified by 2030.

Getting 1.5 million EVs on the roads isn’t something the utility can realize alone, however. Xcel Energy said that it will need support from policymakers, manufacturers, and other stakeholders. The company added that new EV plans and partnerships are in development.

Several initiatives under way:

  • A charging subscription pilot in Minnesota.
  • Pilots and programs to increase access to public charging in Colorado and Minnesota by providing infrastructure to help reduce upfront costs.
  • New business programs for customers in Wisconsin to lower the cost of charging equipment and encourage charging during low-cost, off-peak hours.
  • Fleet infrastructure programs to help public transit agencies and fleet operators plan for — and implement — charging solutions that drive their transition to electric vehicles.

Xcel Energy has partnerships with the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) around transportation electrification and Amazon Web Services to help commercial fleet operators switch to electric vehicles.

“By accelerating EV adoption in the coming years, we can drive major reductions in carbon emissions while helping our customers save money and making the most of our clean energy investments,” said Ben Fowke, chairman and CEO of Xcel Energy.

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