eLab Accelerator 2017

Minnesota EVolution

Image of Minneapolis downtown skyline at sunset.

Project Objective

Advance electric vehicle policy in Minnesota by identifying near-term policy priorities and developing a strategic plan for policy roll-out.

Team Members

  • Aakash Chandarana, Regional Vice President, Xcel Energy

  • Andrew Twite, Senior Policy Associate, Fresh Energy

  • Brendan Jordan, Vice President, Great Plains Institute

  • Jon Brekke, Vice President, Great River Energy

  • Hanna Terwilliger, Rates Analyst, Minnesota Public Utilities Commission

Project Description

While Minnesota has made progress on EV policy, much more work is needed to accelerate EV adoption at the pace necessary to meet our state’s ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals. Through RMI’s eLabs Accelerator, we will convene the most influential EV policy organizations in Minnesota to develop a comprehensive EV policy strategy. Specific policies to be considered include: residential smart-charging tariffs; DC fast charger demand charges; multifamily and workplace charging; electric school and transit buses; and government and corporate EV fleets.

Progress Made to Date (pre-Accelerator)

The team members’ work has produced several notable EV policies. Each of the state’s three IOUs and several co-ops offer specially designed off-peak EV charging tariffs. Moreover, Xcel is working with stakeholders to develop a smart charging pilot, which will take advantage of the embedded metering capability of smart-EVSEs and avoid the additional cost of a dedicated parallel or sub-meter.

This pilot will also enable the V1G functionalities described in RMI’s “Electric Vehicles as Distributed Energy Resources” report. The state’s cooperative utilities have also put forth innovative EV policies. Great River Energy (GRE)—the state’s largest G&T—offers the Revolt program, which allows customers to charge their EVs on 100% renewable energy for the lifetime of the car, at no extra charge. GRE is also in the early stages of developing an electric school bus pilot program.

Project Background Information

Great River Energy’s Revolt website Xcel Energy’s Comments in MPUC Docket 15-111, describing its smart charging pilot MNcharging.org, a web resource that allows car buyers to find EV charging information from their utility Drive Electric Minnesota’s website Minnesota PEV Owners Circle website Workplace charging and housing charging websites, helpful resources developed by Minnesota-based EV market and technologies consulting company PlugInConnect.