EV charger

Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has permitted Excel Energy to install electric vehicle charging stations in consumer homes under a pilot.

The pilot will include installation of a 240V level-2 smart EV charger for some 100 customers with EVs.

The smart charger will have metering capabilities to measure energy used during EV charging. The aim is to reduce cost associated with owning an EV charger at home.

An ordinary EV charger would increase the cost, as it requires the installation of a second meter apart from the one used, for measuring the household’s entire energy use.

Excel Energy had previously reduced EV charging tariffs during mid-night by 40% to encourage consumer EV charging at home, as well as reduce over stressing the grid during peak periods.

However, the utility’s project received little consumer participation as only 150 customers amongst 5,700 customers with EVs registered under the programme.

Excel Energy says the new smart EV charger reduces the costs for charging at home by 30%

The 240-volt charger can provide up to 25 miles per hour of charging — six times more per hour than a 120-volt machine.

Kevin Schwain, leader of Xcel's electric vehicle programme, said: "We predict more and more customers will opt for a 240-volt charger."

Commissioner Matt Schuerger added: "Electric vehicles are coming, and we need to have a pathway into this and evolve with it."

The approval comes at a time EVs are predicted will account for 20% of new automobile registrations by 2030. Excel Energy predicts more than 300,000 EVs will be in it’s service territories.