Electric vehicle public charging stations first in state where users will pay by kilowatt hour

LANSING, MI – Electric vehicle chargers outside of the building housing the Michigan Agency for Energy (MAE) and the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) are the first in state to let users pay for electricity by the kilowatt hour.

Charging station patrons will pay 15 cents per kilowatt hour, which more closely reflects the standard rate a utility charges its customers. Most charging stations require vehicle owners to pay an hourly fee or a monthly rate that could leave users paying for electricity they don’t need.

Charging by the kilowatt hour allows drivers to more easily compare charging rates for their vehicles. For instance, they can see how much it costs to charge during the day compared to the cost of charging at night or at home. Paying by kilowatt hour used – a growing trend across the United States — provides customers a standard for cost comparison, similar to a per-gallon price for gasoline.

“As electric vehicle numbers grow, we are glad to be able to work with our bulidng’s owner and utility to pilot a system that allows drivers to pay for what they use – and only what they use,” said Valerie Brader, Executive Director of the Michigan Agency for Energy. “Charging users by the kilowatt hour is a sensible payment option that we are glad to be able to offer.”

The Level 2 AC chargers at the MAE and MPSC offices at 7109 West Saginaw Highway are available for use by the public. The 218-volt, 30-amp devices have a maximum charge rate of 6.5 kw or about 20 miles of range for every hour a vehicle is plugged in. Right now, two vehicles can charge at the same time, and the chargers have the option of allowing up to four vehicles to be plugged in.

The CT4000 Networked Charging Stations are part of the ChargePoint Inc. network, which has 423 charging stations with 722 charging points in Michigan and more than 31,000 charging stations in the United States.

The unique per kilowatt charging method was made possible through a partnership with the office building’s landlord and the Lansing Board of Water and Light.

“The BWL supports the program to test market acceptance of a per kWh rate in order to learn its impact on public use of electric vehicle charging stations,” Lansing Board of Water & Light General Manager Dick Peffley said. “The BWL has continuously been a leader in developing new programs to help our customers save money, which is why we initiated the Plug-in Electric Vehicle Community Project in 2010.”

Electric, natural gas vehicle conference is Aug. 9

The MPSC and MAE are planning an Aug. 9 technical conference that will address the state of electric vehicle and natural gas vehicle technology and infrastructure, with a focus on the role of utilities. It will also include a discussion about the role of regulation and government in creating public policy. The conference, planned in conjunction with the National Governor’s Association, will include representatives from Fiat-Chrysler, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co.; DTE Energy, Consumers Energy and SEMCO; ChargePoint and Greenlots; the Edison Electric Institute, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, among others.

“We have significant interest nationally from the auto industry, charging manufacturers, environmental community and utilities to participate in this discussion of the future of personal electric vehicles and compressed natural gas vehicles,” MPSC Commissioner Norm Saari said. “Policy makers and industry participants are looking at the Michigan conference as guidance on the future of transportation not based on consumption of gasoline and diesel fuel.”

The conference will be at the MPSC and MAE offices, 7109 West Saginaw Highway, Lansing.

To register to attend the conference, which runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., please click here.

For more information about the MPSC, please visit www.michigan.gov/mpsc or sign up for one of its listservs to keep up to date on MPSC matters.

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