More electric vehicle charging stations could be popping up along roadways in central and southern Illinois after the Illinois Commerce Commission recently approved a new tariff.
Ameren Illinois announced last week that the ICC approved its electric vehicle charging tariff, which company officials say will help jump-start electric vehicle adoption and charging station installation in downstate Illinois.
Electric Vehicle Expert for Ameren, Mike Abba says the tariff is in place now and Ameren is working to get the electric vehicle charging rate implemented in their system.
He says Ameren anticipates customers being able to sign up for the new rates and installation of more charging stations to begin by early fall of this year. Abba says under the tariff there are six different programs aimed at promoting EV charging, with three of those intended to help improve charging infrastructure.
“One of them is our multi-family charging program that will incentivize landlords and building owners to put in public charging for their tenants. We have a line extension credit that will essentially reduce or eliminate the cost to install the charging, or at least connect to our service, and then some great incentives to allow them to hopefully get a little bit better deal on their rates when the vehicles are being charged off-peak.
The next the larger, what we call fast DC level three charging stations. And they are to help reduce the cost to connect to Ameren and to the grid to help eliminate that cost. It also provides some special rate incentives that will help to keep the cost of operating those charging stations lower in the earlier years to help keep the economics for third parties to install those.”
Other programs include special service delivery rates for single-family residential charging, mass transit, and educational programs to promote the use of electric vehicles for school districts and mass transit companies to help support clean mass transportation.
Abba says currently there are about 60 public charging stations in their service area from I-80 south. He says Ameren hopes that through education and promotion of the plan, more stations will be seen along Illinois travel corridors soon.
Special rate incentives are also planned for both travel corridor and non-corridors to help promote 3rd party entities to install charging stations which would include fast DC charging that can charge a vehicle in less than an hour.
Abba says EV owners will be able to sign up for the special rates online. He says those rates are designed to help all Ameren customers, not just EV owners.
“It lays on top of the rate they are on now, and what it does is it provides an actual bill credit for any usage they have from the hours of 11 pm to 7 am. Which is really when we are trying to encourage them to charge their vehicles because that is the time when our grid is the least taxed with the least load on the grid.
So we really want them to charge at that time, so that way they are basically not putting any additional cost on the grid. They are saving a little money and they are putting downward pressure on rates for all customers.”
Abba says any electric vehicle has lower operating and maintenance costs than its fossil fuel counterpart. He says adding in the ability to charge off-peak is even a bigger benefit to the operating costs.
More information on electric vehicles and the new Ameren charging programs can be found online at AmerenIllinois.com/EV