Xcel can’t charge you more to subsidize electric vehicles, regulators say

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) did the right thing when they unanimously denied Xcel Energy’s request to charge Minnesota families and businesses more for electricity to subsidize electric vehicle (EVs) purchases.

Xcel was seeking $50 million to give rebates to EV buyers up to $2,500 per car or light truck and $100 million to subsidize electric buses and other forms of mass transit. For years, American Experiment has argued that EV rebates would force low and middle-income Minnesotans to subsidize their more-affluent counterparts.

Even the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) was on our side of the issue, arguing that allowing Xcel to increase the price of electricity on their customers to pay for EV handouts would add to the energy burden borne by low-income households.

The OAG argued that utility-funded EV rebates are not authorized by Minnesota law, and even if they were, they would not be in the public interest because offering EV-purchase rebates would contribute to economic disparities among the Xcel’s ratepayers without significantly impacting EV adoption or delivering any incremental net benefits.

Unfortunately, liberal members of the Minnesota House of Representatives are pushing a bill, supported by Xcel, to give all investor-owned utilities permanent authority to assess their customers for EV rebates — including electric cars, boats, and planes.

Allowing electric utilities to charge everyone more for their energy to subsidize EV purchases is one of the most out-of-touch policies anyone could advocate for, especially as Americans are suffering from the highest inflation in four decades.

If some Minnesotans want to purchase an EV, that’s perfectly fine. But they should not be asking anyone else to help them pay for it.