FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- February 07, 2019
Contact: Kevin Kelly (573) 751-9300
PSC Approves Pilot Program Designed To Further Advance EV Adoption In Missouri
JEFFERSON CITY---The Missouri Public Service Commission has approved a pilot program for Union Electric Company d/b/a Ameren Missouri to promote fast DC electric vehicle (EV) charging stations along highway corridors in Ameren Missouri’s service territory in an effort to expand EV adoption in the state. The Commission approved the program as it balances the need to provide incentives to EV adoption in Missouri with the best interests of all Ameren Missouri ratepayers. The Commission’s vote was 4-1 with Commissioner Scott Rupp dissenting.
“Creating a sufficient charging network throughout Ameren Missouri’s territory and the state as a whole decreases ‘range anxiety’ by giving consumers the confidence that they can safely travel in their EV throughout the state and be able to charge the EV as needed,” said the Commission. “Thus, decreasing ‘range anxiety’ should increase EV adoption by removing this barrier.”
The Commission also noted that one of the benefits of this pilot program is that it encourages a more rapid build out of an EV charging corridor along Missouri’s highways. “The evidence shows that there are already a number of EVs in the state of Missouri and that the number is expected to grow. However, the evidence also showed that there is significant ‘range anxiety’ as there is not a reliable network on the main travel corridors in Missouri to support EV travel to all parts of the state,” said the Commission. “This is one of the key deterrents to purchasing an EV. Once that ‘range anxiety’ is diminished, it is very likely that more people will adopt this technology. Greater adoption will likely contribute to home charging during off-peak hours on a regular basis and provide a more efficient grid utilization to the benefit of both the Company and the ratepayers.”
Under the program, Ameren Missouri will provide incentives to those entities seeking to build EV charging stations. Items eligible for incentives include line extension and the upfront cost of charging equipment. The Commission noted that providing incentives will likely encourage greater EV adoption in the near term. “The evidence showed that without financial incentives, it is not feasible at this time for the private sector to implement public fast charging stations along Missouri’s highway corridors anytime soon,” said the Commission.
The Commission determined based upon the evidence that the pilot program is reasonable and economically feasible because it is limited in cost at $4.4 million, it is limited to five years and it is limited in the amount of incentive payment per site.
Under the Commission’s order, Ameren Missouri is to track the pilot EV Charging Corridor Sub-Program costs and administrative expenses for possible recovery of those prudently incurred expenses in future rate cases.
In its decision, the Commission also announced that a working group file will be opened in a separate order. It will be a stakeholder process to further evaluate potential mechanisms for facilitating installation of EV charging stations in Missouri.