New Minnesota law sets utility pricing to promote EVs

Michigan’s two biggest electric utilities already offer programs that allow electric-vehicle owners to charge their vehicles at lower rates during off-peak hours.

But Minnesota has taken that good idea a step further by requiring all the state’s electricity providers to offer similar deals.

Varying the price of electricity at different times of day works for everybody, according to a story on Charged EVs. “It allows consumers to save money, and it helps electric utilities to better manage their grids, by encouraging people to shift electrical usage away from peak demand periods,” they wrote. “And of course, it provides yet another incentive to drive electric.”

The Minnesota action makes it the first state in the nation to mandate a special low-cost tariff exclusively for EV owners.

The law also has two interesting wrinkles. First, it mandates that for every kilowatt-hour of electricity used to charge EVs, the utility company will have to generate or import an equivalent amount of renewable electricity. And second, it includes some financial incentives for the utilities to promote electric vehicles.

We’ve long felt that government policies at the federal, state and local levels can go a long way toward stimulating the electric-vehicle industry, and we’re glad to see Minnesota taking a lead.