- Minnesota utilities are set to offer electric vehicle drivers friendly off-peak recharging rates under new rules set by state regulators.
- From 2015, more than 1.3 million households will be able to take advantage of the discounted rates for overnight recharging. Investor-owned utilities are also expected to offer a zero emissions recharge, with the electricity coming from renewable resources only.
- State departments are being encouraged to take up electric vehicles as their official fleet cars. Agencies will now be able to take the vehicles' lower refueling costs into account when purchasing cars.
The new standards are intended to encourage more people to switch over to electric vehicles. The approach has already been in use in the state for some time, as electric cooperatives Connexus and Dakota Electric offer a 50% discount on their average daily recharging rates during off-peak hours. The rates equate to about $0.57 per gallon of gasoline.
The law should also encourage economic growth in Minnesota as growing demand for electric vehicles and charging facilities would create jobs in the construction and maintenance sector, according to Michael Noble, executive director of non-profit Fresh Energy. “This law is a win, win, win," he said.
The law will also allow utilities to advertise and promote their electric vehicle recharging rates on television and other media, which is currently highly discouraged in the state.