Minnesota regulators approve Xcel’s scaled-back EV-charging plan

By Jeffrey Tomich | 03/29/2024 06:37 AM EDT

The utility ditched a contentious proposal to build, own and operate electric vehicle chargers.

A Nissan Leaf charges.

A Nissan Leaf is pictured in St. Paul, Minnesota. Michael Hicks/Flickr

The Minnesota Public Utility Commission approved a slimmed-down plan from the state’s largest utility Thursday to boost electric vehicle adoption.

Xcel Energy’s $44.5 million plan includes various initiatives aimed at eliminating barriers to expanded EV charging, as part of an effort to slash tailpipe emissions. The PUC unanimously voted to approve it, with slight modifications.

The cost of the approved proposal is a fraction of the utility’s previous $330 million plan, which included building, owning and operating 730 high-speed public charging sites. That drew opposition from the state’s attorney general, gasoline station owners and some of the nation’s largest charging providers, which argued the Xcel plan was “an inappropriate foray into the competitive market.”


Xcel ultimately withdrew the ambitious proposal after the PUC denied the company the full $677 million rate increase it had sought. The withdrawal last summer drew a rebuke from the commission and its Chair Katie Sieben.