Xcel Energy announces smart charging pilot

In the US state of Colorado, utility company Xcel Energy has announced a new pilot for customers of five major automakers to charge their EVs at times when renewable energy production is high and demand on the energy grid is low.

For its Charging Perks pilot project, Xcel Energy is directly working with BMW, Ford, General Motors, and Honda. The aim is to test how the company can help customers charge their EVs at times when it is most optimal for the energy grid, showing customers how they can save money and use more renewable energy with different charging times. The pilot project is supposed to enable more drivers to switch to electric cars.

The collaboration with carmakers will enable Xcel Energy to remotely manage when vehicles charge by using onboard communications, smart phone apps, and customer websites with the goal of making smart charging easy for customers. Xcel says that customers will receive up to $300 for enrolling and participating in the Charging Perks Pilot.

“Achieving our EV vision to have 1.5 million vehicles on the road in the eight states we serve by 2030 will require unique partnerships and programs. This is one of the first smart charging projects between an energy company and multiple automakers and I believe represents a major opportunity to help our customers do even more to reduce their carbon footprint,” said Alice Jackson, president, Xcel Energy-Colorado. “We’re excited because this pilot enables new paths to help manage the grid as we move to increase renewable generation on our system to approximately 80% by 2030.”

Xcel Energy initially launched the Charging Perks pilot for Tesla customers in June 2021. The pilot program will include up to 600 EV customers in Colorado.

The pilot project is timely. Just a few days ago insideevs revealed that across the Atlantic in the UK, there are plans to pass legislation that will see EV home and workplace chargers being switched off at peak times to avoid blackouts.



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