xcel energy
Image credit: PXFuel

Xcel Energy has released its vision in light of the growing penetration of electric vehicles within its service territory.

The utility says it is preparing its grid network to power 1.5 million electric vehicles (EVs) in its service areas by 2030.

According to the utility’s vision, EVs would make up 20% of all vehicles on the road in the eight US states the utility’s serves, more than 30 times the number today.

The penetration of EVs at such a number will help save customers billions of dollars in fuel costs, while significantly cutting carbon emissions from transportation.

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.

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Excel Energy plans to install new charging infrastructure and introduce customer programmes to promote EV adoption. Through its plans so far, Xcel Energy has proposed investing $300 million to accelerate adoption of EVs in its communities.

The utility says its vision will help the company to achieve its goals of providing 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050.

Powering 1.5 million EVs using renewables 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.

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.

Joseph Beer, Power & Utilities Worldwide Technical Leader for Amazon Web Services, said: “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.

“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.”

“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.

“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.