Ameren delays electric vehicle charging station project

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COLUMBIA - Missouri Public Service Commission has 120 days to decide whether or not Ameren Missouri can move forward with the installation of electric vehicle charging stations.

Ameren requested PSC review its pilot project to construct charging stations along I-70. Missouri PSC decided to suspend the request until March 6, 2017.  

"The commission determined to suspend tariff to give commission additional time," said Kevin Kelly, PSC spokesperson.

The commission is unsure whether it has the authority to regulate charging stations due to new technology frontiers. The PSC regulates monopolies and therefore decided to look further at the issue of charging station regulation.

Ameren's proposal request involves the installation of six car charging stations in Mid-Missouri along I-70 and one on Highway 54. The electric charge would cost electric car owners twice the amount on the highway compared to charging their car at home.

The proposal suggests 17 cents per minute for slow charge and 20 cents per kilowatt for rapid charge.

Director of Engineering Design and Project Managment for Ameren Missouri, Mark Nealon, said they want to continue to pursue this project.

"We feel as though this is the right thing to do, in that there are myriad of benefits associated with an increase adoption of electric vehicles," Nealon said.

Kelly explained, "The commission said they are suspending it [the proposal] to consider all arguments of the party."

Ameren Missouri customers who don't own electric vehicles are concerned how they would have to subsidize the project. Nealon explained Ameren customers would only pay 11 cents per year for four years to help cover the cost of the project.  Nealon also said the project would reduce rates as more electric cars hit the road.

"And, for everyone in breathing space, theres cleaner air in form of less carbon emissions." said Nealon.

You can find the location of all public charging stations in Missouri on Ameren's interactive map

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