Xcel Energy recently asked state regulators in Minnesota to approve a new discounted rate for overnight home charging of electric vehicles (EV) in the state — altogether totalling a 43% discount to regular residential service rates.
The large utility company has stated that, if approved, the new rate for overnight home charging of EVs will roll out about a half year from now.
“We are trying to provide more options for customers,” stated Chris Clark, president of Xcel’s Minnesota regional operations. “This is really how we’re seeing the future. We think customers are going to want to tailor their energy services to what their particular uses are.”
According to Clark, EV owners would see savings of around $9 per month under the proposed rate change — which would see 3.3 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) offered between the hours of 9:00 pm and 9:00 am on weekdays + all hours on weekends + holidays.
The Star Tribune provides more:
When standard fuel charges are added, the rate is 6 cents per kWh. A $4.95 monthly basic charge would cover the cost of a separate electric meter.
Navigant Research, a clean-tech consulting and research firm in Boulder, Colorado, said that 289,716 electric plug-in cars are in use nationwide, and 4,900 in Minnesota, although other sources offer lower estimates. Xcel would be the 23rd US utility to offer plug-in rates, the firm said.
Kevin Schwain, Xcel’s manager of emerging customer programs, estimated about 2,000 electric cars are in Xcel’s Minnesota territory of 1.2 million customers. Schwain said the off-peak rates equate to 50 cents-per-gallon gasoline.
“When you move from fossil fuels to EVs, you already save a lot and now you have just cut it in half,” stated Jukka Kukkonen, principal in PlugInConnect, a Minnesota electric vehicle market and technology consulting firm, and also a Nissan Leaf owner.
According to Kukkonen, under Xcel’s proposed rates driving, ~1000 miles (~1610 kilometers) would cost him only ~$15.
Related to this proposal, Xcel has also proposed to offer EV owners the option of purchasing only wind power for their electric cars. This option — dubbed the “Windsource” option — would cost interested customers ~$2 a month.
As it stands, much of Xcel’s nighttime power comes from wind energy and nuclear — so purchasing the wind option would be a way of avoiding the use of power supplied by nuclear plants.
(Tip of the hat here to “flankspeed8” on the Tesla Motors Club forum for bringing this to our attention.)
Image Credit: Xcel Energy
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