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August 29, 2014

Dakota Electric pitches pilot program for charging electric cars

A Twin Cities power company is proposing the state’s first pilot program specifically designed for charging electric cars, the Star Tribune reports.

Dakota Electric Association, a utility co-op that serves customers in Dakota, Goodhue, Scott and Rice counties, has come up with a pricing plan tailored for in-home charging stations that offers less expensive rates at night when the power demand is low. The usage would be tracked on a separate meter.

The downside is that during “on-peak times,” between 4 and 9 p.m., rates rise dramatically, according to the Pioneer Press.

Xcel has also considered a special plan for electric vehicles, but says the demand in not there yet with only a few hundred vehicles on Minnesota roads. But by 2015, Xcel predicts that number will increase to 15,000.

The Public Utilities Commission is scheduled to consider the rate request Thursday.