As an energy provider, Xcel Energy has the unique opportunity to support customers and communities that want to participate in the electric and natural gas vehicle markets. We offer safe, reliable and increasingly clean energy to fuel electric and natural gas vehicles at an affordable price.
Xcel Energy has developed three areas of focus for supporting alternatively fueled vehicles:
In Xcel Energy’s service territory, the market for electric and natural gas vehicles remains in the initial growth stages. We estimate there are currently more than 12,500 electric vehicles (EVs) throughout our service territory. While most people prefer to charge their EVs conveniently at home using our service, we also provide electricity for more than 500 public charging stations throughout our service territory. Additionally, there are a few hundred medium- and heavy-duty natural gas vehicles (NGVs) that fuel at more than 35 public and 35 private natural gas fueling stations in Colorado, Minnesota, Texas and Wisconsin.
The market is projected to grow, especially as new models of alternative fuel vehicles become more available and more affordable for both individual and fleet use. There were just two electric vehicle models on the market in 2010, while in 2016, that number jumped to 25 models. Electric vehicles with a range of more than 200 miles at a price point around the average cost of a new car are likely to hit the market in 2017. Plus, fueling is becoming increasingly easier and more accessible.
In 2016, Xcel Energy continued to participate in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Workplace Charging Challenge and Edison Electric Institute Fleet Electrification Commitment. A rapidly growing number of Xcel Energy employees now drive electric vehicles to and from work. Under a pilot program, employees have the option to charge electric vehicles at our facilities for a reasonable monthly fee that covers electricity and administrative costs. Additionally, the number of alternative fuel vehicles in our company fleet is expanding, with increased options from electric sedans to natural gas bucket trucks.
Xcel Energy continues to work with stakeholders to help develop state policy and regulations that support the market and customers who purchase electric and natural gas vehicles. It is important that new rules are fair to all customers—both those who own vehicles and those who do not. To make it easier for third parties to install fueling stations in Colorado, we changed our policies to include a special tariff and construction allowance.
We have conducted several studies of our electric and natural gas systems to verify that we can manage the increased load as customers begin using our energy to fuel vehicles. To make it easier for third parties to install public electric and natural gas fueling stations, we work individually with developers to help find ideal locations based on preferred gas pressure, vehicle traffic and fleet needs. Additionally, customer research, as well as the use of electric vehicles in our fleet and by employees, continues to inform our strategy for the future.
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