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Green Building News

An Indiana Utility Offers Free Car Charges

Until the end of 2017, overnight charges will cost consumers nothing if they have a separate meter for their vehicle

Low-cost driving. Gasoline prices are falling, but drivers of electric vehicles in parts of Indiana will pay nothing for fuel when they recharge vehicle batteries overnight.
Image Credit: Tesla Motors Inc. via Wikimedia Commons

If you own an electric vehicle (EV), it apparently pays to live in Indiana.

Some Indiana drivers who have invested in electric vehicles are finding very low power costs, adding up to less than 1 cent per mile. In the service area of one electric utility, fuel is free, according to an article in Green Car Reports.

Customers of Northern Indiana Public Service Company can charge their cars for free, providing they do so between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. and the car is charged on on a separate electric meter. The utility is also offering a subsidy of as much as $1,650 toward the installation of a meter to the first 250 people EV owners who request it.

So far, 125 have taken advantage of the offer. The offer is good through the end of 2017, UtilityDive reported.

Separately, Indianapolis Power and Light offers off-peak rates of 2.3 cents per kWh, allowing the owner of a Tesla Model S to recharge the car and drive 265 miles for $1.95 in fuel charges, Green Car Reports said.

Despite a variety of incentives, EVs are still very much a niche market. The website EV Sales reports that less than 10,000 EVs sold in the U.S. in October of this year. The Nissan Leaf is the most popular brand, with year-to-date sales of about 24,400.

One Comment

  1. Expert Member
    Dana Dorsett | | #1

    Free? Why not PAY them? :-)
    The utility is able to operate the charging station in ways that it can provide ancillary services such as frequency & voltage control much cheaply than tradtitionally wasteful spinning reserves. On grids with slow reacting thermal generators such as nukes or large coal plants the 10PM-6AM is often a period where they are power dumping due to low demand, and running at grossly low efficiency- it SHOULD be "free".

    In CA the plug-in car fleet at the LA Air Force base will be getting paid something on the order of $100/car per month to provide ancillary services to the grid, but in that case they will also be drawing on car batteries to power the grid too, not just a utility-controllable load, as in the Indiana case.

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