Transitioning 20% of all vehicles to electric by 2030 will reduce carbon emissions and save customers billions in fuel costs
Xcel Energy, a national leader in the clean energy transition, announced its vision to drive towards powering 1.5 million electric vehicles in its service areas by 2030. As a result of this vision, EVs would make up 20% of all vehicles on the road in those areas, more than 30 times the number today, helping save customers billions of dollars in fuel costs, while significantly cutting carbon emissions from transportation.
By making it easy for more people to use EVs through new charging infrastructure and customer programs, the company’s vision will build the future of clean, affordable transportation in the eight states it serves. As drivers, ride-share companies, public transit and other fleet operators replace vehicles with EVs, they will see substantial savings on fuel, because driving electric is equal to spending about $1 per gallon of gas and can be significantly less when charging overnight. By 2030, an EV would cost $700 less per year to fuel than a gas-powered car, saving customers $1 billion annually. To make the company’s vision a reality, it will need the support of policymakers, manufacturers and other stakeholders.
Building on the company’s vision to provide 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050, powering 1.5 million EVs would reduce carbon emissions by nearly 5 million tons annually by 2030, or about three tons of carbon reduction per vehicle. Electric vehicles charged on the increasingly clean Xcel Energy system will have about 80% lower carbon emissions than gas-powered cars by 2030. More EVs would also improve air quality in our communities by reducing other emissions, like nitrogen oxide and fine particulate matter, that have the greatest impact on public health.
The transition to more electric cars, trucks and buses will also help keep bills low for all customers, including those who don’t drive an EV. The additional electricity sales generated by EVs more than pay for the system investment required to support them. So as more vehicles transition to electric, everyone will benefit from cleaner air and lower bills.
“Electric vehicles are the next frontier in the clean energy transition, and we are committed to making charging EVs easy, convenient and affordable for customers,” said Ben Fowke, chairman and CEO, Xcel Energy. “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. We have substantial plans in place in the states we serve, and we can expand on this with partnership and support from policymakers, regulators, customers, automakers and our communities.”
“We are already busy creating new charging options for customers, whether they are residential customers or companies and government agencies with large vehicle fleets,” said Brett Carter, executive vice president and chief customer and innovation officer, Xcel Energy. “Our new, ambitious EV vision builds on this work as we continue to lead the clean energy transition and enhance the customer experience while keeping bills low. We are actively seeking partnerships with automakers, tech and charging companies, other private and public sector entities, as well as our communities and customers, to find innovative ways to drive toward an electric vehicle future.”
The company is developing its EV plans and partnerships with a focus on equity, accessibility and fairness, allowing everyone to benefit from the growth of EVs. In addition to helping customers who own EVs charge up at home and on the go, its programs aim to give all customers access to clean, affordable, electric transportation. That includes working with transit agencies and car sharing organizations to increase access to the benefits of electric transportation, especially for those in underserved communities.
Xcel Energy will help lead the way in its own operations, with plans to electrify all sedans by 2023, electrify all light-duty vehicles by 2030 and have 30% of its medium- and heavy-duty vehicles electrified by 2030.
“Investing in electric vehicle charging infrastructure and accelerating electric transportation benefits customers, the environment, and the energy grid,” said Tom Kuhn, president, Edison Electric Institute. “As an industry, we have a tremendous opportunity in front of us to electrify the transportation sector to further leverage our industry’s impressive emissions reductions. Xcel Energy continues to lead by example with its bold vision and as it works to deploy even more electric vehicles across its fleet.”
“The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory is pleased to support and be a part of Xcel Energy’s exciting new EV vision,” said Martin Keller, NREL Laboratory Director. “Electrification of the transportation sector is a critical priority in Colorado and other states that Xcel Energy serves. Partnerships are a vital part of NREL’s mission, and we value our growing collaboration with Xcel Energy. This partnership allows NREL to further leverage our world-class capabilities in transportation and help bring critical technology and infrastructure to the marketplace.
“Amazon Web Services is proud to work with Xcel Energy to develop cloud-based solutions that will advance cleaner transportation and help achieve a carbon free future,” said Joseph Beer, Power & Utilities Worldwide Technical Leader for Amazon Web Services. “We are working collaboratively with Xcel Energy to develop a machine learning advisory tool to help commercial fleet operators make the case for switching to electric vehicles. The goal of this solution is to help Xcel Energy execute on its vehicle vision for 2030 and make strides in bringing clean energy to the future of transportation.”
“In our efforts to accelerate EV adoption, General Motors has several exciting EVs launching soon, including the Cadillac LYRIQ and GMC HUMMER EV, which are in addition to the affordable Chevrolet Bolt EV, which is available now and offers an EPA-estimated 259 miles of range on a full charge,” said Alex Keros, Lead Architect for EV Infrastructure for General Motors. “As we accelerate the transition to electric vehicles it is critical for customers to have access to clean, affordable and convenient charging. Programs like Xcel Energy’s can help increase customer confidence in all three aspects of EV charging.”
Plans and programs will drive toward 1.5 million EVs
Xcel Energy is already launching and developing partnerships, programs and services to reduce barriers to EV adoption while making EV charging easier and more affordable. The major plans the company has proposed in Colorado, Minnesota, New Mexico and Wisconsin aim to support residential charging, increase access to electric transportation for all customers, speed fleet electrification, and expand public charging options. Through its plans so far, Xcel Energy has proposed investing $300 million to accelerate adoption of EVs in its communities.
From working with states and communities in their efforts to transform mobility and increase access to electric transportation, to launching residential programs that save customers money on charging, the company is already making progress in its drive toward a cleaner transportation future.
Highlights of the initiatives underway include:
- A charging subscription pilot in Minnesota allows customers to charge up as much as they need on nights and weekends for one low, flat monthly price, and a home charging service program coming soon that makes it easier for customers to have charging equipment installed.
- A residential smart charging pilot launching later this year that will reward customers in Colorado for conveniently optimizing their charging times to benefit the grid and use more renewable energy.
- Pilots and programs to increase access to public charging in Colorado and Minnesota by providing infrastructure to help reduce the upfront costs
- New residential and business programs for customers in Wisconsin will significantly lower the cost of charging equipment and encourage charging during low-cost, off-peak hours.
- Education and advice for customers and the public about the benefits of electric vehicles, whether they visit Xcel Energy’s website, visit a dealership or call the company’s energy experts.
- Fleet infrastructure programs help public transit agencies and fleet operators plan for and implement charging solutions that drive their transition to electric vehicles.
- Active conversations with a wide variety of partners to help achieve this 2030 EV vision.