EVs Energize the Auto Market

More EV options and convenient charging make "going electric" easier.

Wisconsin has seen more than a 50% increase in electric vehicle (EV) purchases since 2015, and more growth is expected.

EV technology is advancing, giving drivers increased range, more reasonably priced options and a wider variety of vehicle types. According to Green Car Reports, a minimum of six new electric models are expected in 2018 and 2019, with promised battery ranges of 200 miles or more.

The Chevy Bolt, boasting a range of 238 miles, was introduced to the EV market in 2017 and was made available for purchase nationwide in early September. The second generation Nissan LEAF and the Tesla Model 3 will be released as 2018 models. Luxury automakers including Audi, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche also are getting into the game with new EV models anticipated to go into production next year. All boast large battery capacities, ranging from 220 to 310 miles.

In addition, Volkswagen and Hyundai have recently announced plans to shift production to offering more electric-powered models in the coming years. Automakers, like Chrysler, are also beginning to unveil plans to manufacture new all-electric crossover and SUV models.

Ride and Drive

Faster Charging Options Available

As the popularity of EVs grows and more customers experience their convenience, many drivers are seeking alternatives to traditional charging methods. Since 80% of EV charging is done at home, MGE's new pilot program, Charge@Home, makes home charging faster and more convenient. Drivers who participate in Charge@Home are enrolled in a study to help us learn more about charging sessions and how to best manage the impact of EV charging on our distribution system.

This collaboration supports our Energy 2030 objective of offering customers new technology options to create a more sustainable energy future.

MGE makes it easy for customers by installing the ChargePoint Home Level 2 (L2) charger at participants' homes with no upfront cost. L2 units charge EV batteries up to six times faster than a standard 120-volt electrical outlet, cutting the charge time for a fully depleted battery substantially. The L2 charger can be controlled remotely via Wi-Fi from a smartphone and integrates with other ChargePoint chargers, which make up our public charging network.

Participants pay a monthly fee of $20 per month plus the cost of their electricity. Customers also have the opportunity to sign up for MGE's Time-of-Use rates and save on electricity costs by scheduling charging to occur when electricity demand is lowest.

Charge@Home furthers our commitment to new technologies as outlined in our Energy 2030 framework. For more information about the program, visit mge.com/chargeathome.

published: 10-30-2017