Xcel Energy expands EV stake, vows to have Net-Zero Fleet by 2050

Aug. 4, 2022
Xcel’s company fleet is already moving into the transition, with a fleet including 130 electric sedans by the end of 2021

Western U.S. utility Xcel Energy is promising to make all of its working fleet run on electricity or other low and no-carbon fuels by 2050.

The newly detailed vision includes details on providing the necessary infrastructure and energy system needed for vehicles that run on clean energy, ensuring access to EV charging within one-mile of their homes, enabling underserved communities to participate in Xcel Energy programs and access economic development benefits related to zero-carbon transportation and operating a zero-carbon Xcel Energy fleet.

The announcement expands on the firm’s interim goal of enabling one of five vehicles in its area to be electric by 2030.

“Xcel Energy is making incredible progress and has already reduced power sector carbon emissions by 50% since 2005,” said Bob Frenzel, chairman, president, and CEO of Xcel Energy. “As we expand our clean energy leadership to transportation, which is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the nation, we know that electric vehicles are a key component of our comprehensive strategy to be a net-zero energy provider by 2050.”

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Xcel’s company fleet is already moving into the transition, with a fleet including 130 electric sedans by the end of 2021, a spokesman told EnergyTech. The number of EVs in the fleet increased 40 percent over the previous year.

All of Xcel’s light-duty trucks and nearly a third of the medium and heavy-duty service vehicles will be electric by 2030, he said.

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Xcel claims to be the energy utility nationwide to add all-electric bucket trucks to its fleet. The company began a pilot project this year testing an electric bucket truck in Minnesota and another in Colorado under real-time working conditions.

Xcel Energy also has increased the amount of renewable and carbon-free energy on its system, which has made EVs powered with Xcel Energy electricity more than 55% cleaner than a conventional gasoline-powered vehicle in 2021. These vehicles are expected to become at least 80% cleaner by 2030. Moreover, charging an EV during off-peak periods is about $1 gallon of gasoline or less, helping customers save $1 billion on fuel by 2030.

The firm has filed proposals in Minnesota and Wisconsin for EV charging programs that will make charging at home easier, faster and more affordable, according to the release. This includes expanded solutions to support public charging, businesses, community charging, multifamily buildings, transit and electric school buses.

The proposal, once enacted, would add about 750 charging stations in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Xcel Energy provides electricity to more than three million customers in numerous states, including Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, New Mexico, Colorado and Texas. 

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(Rod Walton, senior editor for EnergyTech, is a 14-year veteran of covering the energy industry both as a newspaper and trade journalist. He can be reached at [email protected]).

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