Missouri regulators approve Ameren plan for 1,000-plus EV charging stations

Utility provider Ameren Missouri is moving ahead with incentives to help businesses install more than 1,000 electric vehicle charging stations throughout its service territory.

The St. Louis-based utility this week received Missouri Public Service Commission approval for its program. The additions are part of Ameren Missouri’s Charge Ahead, a $11 million investment in EV charging infrastructure.

Beginning next year, business owners can apply for incentives to offset the construction costs of EV charging stations. This support will also include workplaces, multi-family residences and public areas.

“More and more electric vehicles are revving up on roads across Missouri. Now is the time to invest in the critical infrastructure to support this trend,” said Pat Justis, Ameren Missouri manager of efficient electrification development. “Bringing more charging stations across our area will help increase adoption of electric vehicles and that means a cleaner and brighter energy future for our customers.”

Ameren Missouri’s three-year program includes assistance with installing 1,000 local-level charging stations at more than 350 locations throughout the area. These stations can be either Level II or DC fast charging.

Long-distance travel charging stations are also part of the deal. The utility plants to open the first of 11 charging stations by the end of this year and complete the rest by the end of 2020.

Each of these long-distance stations will have two DC fast chargers and two Level II chargers.

Many power generation and grid experts believe that electric vehicle adoption will grow exponentially over the coming years. The Edison Electric Institute, which represents U.S. investor owned utilities, forecasts that one in every five car sales will be EV by 2030.

A reporter by Accenture Strategy earlier this year predicted that EVs will outnumber conventional automobiles by 2040 and create a potential $2 trillion economic opportunity for electric utilities in North America and Europe.

According to a McKinsey & Co. 2018 report, EV growth could eventually add a 4-percent increase to global electric power demand, requiring an additional capacity of about 20 GW.

(Rod Walton is content director for Power Engineering and POWERGEN International. He can be reached at 918-831-9177 and rod.walton@clarionevents.com)

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