Operational Excellence May 16, 2023
Xcel Energy drives Colorado electric vehicle goals with new proposal
Next generation plans will deliver cleaner air, cost savings and customer options
Xcel Energy is taking the next step in helping more customers and communities adopt electric vehicles as it furthers Colorado’s 2030 EV goal by proposing its next three-year Transportation Electric Plan (TEP) to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. The plan builds on the company’s first TEP, approved in 2021, with new and enhanced electric vehicle charging programs, public charging options and rebates, and incentives to make charging easy, fast and more affordable for all customers while also supporting innovation.
The new proposal supports transportation electrification for customers, including businesses, with a focus on equity and access to the benefits of electric transportation for all customers while optimizing the use of the electric grid.
“We are excited to build on the strong foundation of the original plan by making electric transportation more accessible to all our customers, while helping to achieve the state’s broader EV goals,” said Robert Kenney, president of Xcel Energy—Colorado. “We know transportation is the largest emitter of carbon in the nation and by harnessing our clean energy to power vehicles, we can reduce emissions across our state in an affordable way. This benefits all Coloradans, whether they drive an EV or not.”
One of the most immediate and greatest benefits of advancing EV adoption is the ability to improve air quality across Colorado, especially in areas that have been disproportionately impacted by pollution. Customers who drive electric see significant savings – it is the equivalent of about $1 per gallon to charge at home during off-peak hours, a time when renewable energy is often abundant.
“Electric cars are quieter and much less expensive to operate,” said Governor Jared Polis. “This plan is another step in the right direction towards saving people money and increasing consumer choice. Making more electric car charging stations available for people and businesses will also help Colorado by improving air quality.”
“Enabling widespread EV adoption is crucial to a climate-safe future for all Coloradans, and helps us to reach our ambitious climate goals,” Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. Furthering Colorado’s goal of having 940,000 EVs on the roads by 2030, Xcel Energy’s clean transportation vision is to enable one out of every five vehicles in the areas we serve to be electric by 2030, leading to cleaner air and billions of dollars in customer savings.
Transportation Electrification Plans for 2023-2026
The new TEP proposal includes expanded solutions and programs to support public charging and charging at homes, businesses, multifamily buildings, and other community locations. It also features programs supporting electric school buses and industry innovation.
Public fast charging infrastructure will need to increase significantly in Colorado in the near term to support the state’s 2030 EV goals. Most of this growth will take place in the communities and areas served by Xcel Energy. The company’s proposal would expand its public charging network to address a portion of the charging need, representing about 10% of what is needed in the state by 2030.
Additionally, the proposal would:
- Provide new and expanded incentives and rebates for income qualified customers, including updated broader equity eligibility criteria to help more Coloradans.
- Streamline and enhance Xcel Energy’s successful residential EV programs to make it easy for customers to power their EVs at home while helping efficiently manage the electric grid.
- Offer commercial customers updated and enhanced programs, as well as new programs, designed to simplify the customer experience, remove barriers to adoption and streamline equity-based projects.
- Expand successful partnerships in research and innovation to bring forward EV projects, including expansion of an electric school bus project. Continued investments in the rapidly evolving EV ecosystem stimulates innovation in the next generation of EV technologies.
If approved, the proposal would add about $0.77 per month to an average residential electric customers’ bill. At the same time, adding more EVs in Colorado will help keep customers’ electric bills low, even if they don’t drive an EV. As more electric vehicles plug into the grid in the coming years, the fixed costs of providing electric service are spread out further, which puts downward pressure on electric rates that customers pay. Downward pressure on rates means that the new load from EVs more than supports customer programs and utility infrastructure necessary for the EVs and the electric system. In other words, the growth of EVs more than pays for itself, funds customer programs and utility infrastructure, and provides savings to all customers.
2021 TEP Milestones
Since the original TEP was approved by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, EV use in Colorado has expanded. Under the previous plan, the company has seen strong demand in residential, multifamily housing, fleet, workplace and public charging.
Since the fall of 2021, Xcel Energy has deployed more than 14 customer programs and more than 1,300 EV charging ports, evaluated 1,400 fleet vehicles and provided more than 2,400 rebates to help offset EV charging infrastructure and equipment costs.
More information about electric vehicles, and these new programs, is available on the Xcel Energy website.