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Electric vehicle charging stations planned for Roswell

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Xcel intends to release specifics in 2022

Some public electric vehicle charging stations are being planned for downtown Roswell, according to a spokesman with a major electrical utility in the area.

Xcel Energy Inc. has announced its plans to invest $3.1 million between 2022 and 2024 in New Mexico to make charging of electric vehicles easier and more affordable.

Wes Reeves, senior media representative with the New Mexico-Texas division of the public company, said Xcel’s New Mexico Transportation Electrification Plan includes public charging units in Roswell.

“While we’re still in the planning stages, we are looking to place an undetermined number of public charging facilities in downtown Roswell for the use of local residents and travelers alike,” he said. “Nothing will happen immediately, but the various components of our EV project will begin to roll out in 2022.”

The company’s plan for EV charging systems in this state was approved by the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission on Sept. 30.

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“EVs have developed to the point where they can take on New Mexico’s long distances and reduce transportation costs considerably,” said David Hudson, president of Xcel Energy-New Mexico and Texas. “Our communities need our support as they begin the transition to a cleaner, less expensive form of transportation and we’re ready to do our part.”

According to information released by the company, it intends to help power 1.5 million electric vehicles on the road in the eight states it serves by 2030. The aim is to enable consumers to charge their electric vehicles for the equivalent of $1 per gallon of gas.

The Transportation Electrification Plan has six components, four of which are aimed at the individual consumer.

Home wiring rebates of $500 to $1,300, depending on income, will be available to people upgrading the wiring of their homes with 240-volt electrical connections, which can support faster Level 2 chargers.

Home charger services are intended to provide customers with Level 2 chargers and cover installation and maintenance for a reasonable fee. In some cases, the costs of chargers also might be reduced or covered by Xcel.

A residential optimizing service would provide incentives for people to charge in off-peak times, while a residential advisory service would provide information and digital tools concerning electric vehicle charging.

The other components include the public charging facilities. Xcel intends to build some sites itself, but it also will work with municipalities, community organizations or companies to provide free or low-cost design and infrastructure construction for charging sites. The Fleet and Community Services Advisory component of the plan will work with entities that have or are planning fleets of electric vehicles to help them analyze and determine their best options for fleets and charging sites.

According to a January 2020 online article by the Pew Charitable Trusts, a 2018 survey by Volvo found that 49% of consumers considered the lack of public charging sites the primary reason for why they would not buy an electric vehicle. In 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy indicated that New Mexico had only 172 public charging sites, compared to 3,300 in Texas; 1,305 in Arizona and 1,984 in Colorado. Oklahoma had 194.

Xcel indicated that the transportation electrification plan is aligned with its efforts to increase the amount of renewable and carbon-free energy sources consumed and to decrease carbon emissions. The company’s goals include reducing carbon emissions by as much as 80% by 2030 compared to 2005 levels and supplying 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050. According to the company, 34% of the electricity it provided in 2020 to area customers was generated from carbon-free resources.

Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

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Lisa Dunlap is a general assignment reporter for the Roswell Daily Record.