In a bid to ensure that electric vehicle drivers don’t up utility rates, and to encourage private adoption of EVs, the state of Minnesota has become the first state to standardize EV refueling costs. The law forces investor-owned utility companies to set a special rate for EV owners recharging overnight during off-peak hours.
The law, signed by governor Mark Dayton, does the following;
- Beginning in 2015, 1.3 million households will have access to a discounted rate for electric vehicle (EV) refueling.
- Also beginning in early 2015, investor-owned utilities will provide customers the option of zero-emissions EV refueling with renewable energy.
- State agencies can more easily consider electric fleet vehicles–previous purchasing decisions were not permitted to take into account the lower refueling and maintenance costs typical of EVs.
- The policy removes roadblocks to utilities becoming champions for EV adoption.
The refueling rate is expected to be less than 99 cents a gallon equivalent, and could be as low as 57 cents a gallon equivalent, which is what two Minnesota utilities, Connexus and Dakota Utilities, currently charge EV owners. That would mean you could charge a car like the Nissan Leaf for pocket change and drive around all day. This legislation also protects EV owners against rising electricity rates, which could become an issue as more drivers plug in.
What do you think of this new EV charging cost law?