Xcel Wants To Invest $102 Million Into Colorado’s Electric Vehicle Future

John Daley/CPR News
Family physician Dr. Adam Carewe takes advantage of a free charger station for his electric vehicle at Kaiser’s Lone Tree office, June 2019.

Colorado got its first glimpse of how the state’s largest utility plans to gear up to help meet the state’s goal of having hundreds of thousands more electric vehicles on the road by 2030.

Xcel Energy's Transportation Electrification Plan proposes 20 new programs to install charging infrastructure across homes, apartment buildings and office buildings, as well as for vehicle pools owned by companies. It also features a program aimed at electrifying school buses, plus efforts aimed at lowering the upfront costs of charging infrastructure for low-income customers.

Xcel would own much of the charging infrastructure it installs. Customers who want to plug in would likely pay a fee bundled into their monthly bill.

In testimony filed with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, Xcel's director of regulatory and strategic analysis Jack Ihle said he expects electric vehicle adoption to grow from 24,000 cars in Xcel’s service territory today to 450,000 by 2030.

“This growth in vehicle electrification will, in turn, drive positive results across society, our customers at large, and EV drivers, including potential downward pressure on electricity rates,” Ihle said.

If approved by the Colorado PUC, Xcel estimates its Transportation Electrification Plan would spend about $7.7 million next year, amounting to a $0.23 increase on the average monthly residential customer’s utility bill.