Electrification of transportation

Transportation is the leading contributor of GHG emissions in the U.S. The electrification of transportation is a key strategy for reducing carbon emissions. In addition to growing our use of renewable resources and engaging around energy efficiency, we are working with customers, stakeholders, municipalities and other community partners to grow the use of EVs and to facilitate charging options throughout our community.

We have been advancing alternative fuel vehicles since we began building our EV public charging network more than 10 years ago. Today, the number of EVs on the road continues to grow. MGE is prepared to meet the need with our growing public charging network of more than 45 stations—powered by renewable energy—and programs to facilitate charging at home, at work and on the go. Our public charging network features several DC fast chargers, which can provide 60 to 80 miles of range in about 20 minutes.

MGE EV hub in downtown Madison
Fast-charging hub
One of the first of its kind in Wisconsin, MGE’s new EV fast-charging hub in the heart of Madison’s Capitol East District will provide convenient EV fast charging—powered by renewable energy—for nearby apartment and condo dwellers, single-family households, commuters, and taxi and ridesharing services as well as electric fleet vehicles.

With power levels up to 350 kW, the hub’s high-speed chargers are some of the most powerful EV chargers in the Midwest. These chargers will support fast charging for EVs with greater driving ranges in the future. Through a partnership with Tesla, the hub also has eight Superchargers from the electric car maker.

National Electric Highway Coalition
MGE is partnering with EEI and more than 60 other utilities across the country in support of the National Electric Highway Coalition (NEHC). The NEHC is committed to quick and convenient EV charging along major U.S. travel corridors by the end of 2023.

Residential charging
Charge@Home, MGE’s home charging program, makes it easy for EV drivers to charge efficiently at their home, which is where more than 80% of charging happens. With Charge@Home, MGE owns, maintains and coordinates the installation of Level 2 charging stations at customers’ homes. With no upfront cost, customers pay a monthly fee plus the cost of electricity. The program gives MGE the ability to study drivers’ charging habits and to explore remote management of charging sessions to better understand the potential impact of EVs on the grid, including how grid management can help to lower costs for all MGE customers by optimizing our use of generation resources.

MGE also helps area employers of all sizes and multifamily developers who want to offer employees and residents charging. We discuss options and help them navigate the decision-making and implementation process.

Managed charging
MGE is partnering with EV drivers in our service territory to test how smart charging using vehicle telematics can save customers money and help plan for the impact of EVs on our grid. Customers on a time-of-use rate who sign up to participate in the project have their EVs automatically charge off-peak. By shifting charging to off-peak times, customers can save on their electricity costs. Customers on a standard rate have their EV charging optimized to help keep the grid balanced and receive a nominal incentive each month. Additionally, a group of customers has the opportunity to participate in demand response events to receive additional rewards. As more drivers opt for EVs, MGE’s ability to work with customers to manage charging is becoming increasingly important. MGE is further exploring managed charging with several pilots for condo owners, renters, workplaces and fleets. These managed charging pilots will help MGE to evaluate load management strategies, such as shifting charging to lower-cost periods and staggering start times to avoid rebound peaks. The opportunity to shift EV charging to lower-cost times and when more resources are available will help us prepare for more EV charging on our distribution grid. Managed charging also serves to benefit all MGE customers by reducing the need for electrical system upgrades and new generation facilities long-term.

Partnerships with local dealerships
In 2021, MGE launched its Dealership Network to serve customers who are considering an EV. Local dealerships that are members of MGE’s Dealership Network are knowledgeable about EV programs and resources offered by MGE. In addition to expertise on models, trim options, driving ranges and financing, dealerships can help drivers determine the best charging solution for their new EV. Through MGE’s EV website, customers are able to connect with local dealers to get their questions answered or to schedule a test drive.

EV Ambassadors
MGE has long partnered with local EV drivers to help educate others about EVs and EV charging. In 2022, MGE launched its formal EV Ambassador program. More than 60 drivers already have signed up to showcase their vehicles at community events and talk with interested customers about their experience with EVs.

MGE EV fleet goal
MGE’s EV fleet goal
We have been testing commercially available EVs for more than a decade. We are continuing to add cleaner vehicles to our fleet, where possible, and are targeting a goal of 100% all-electric or plug-in hybrid light-duty vehicles by 2030. Our fleet includes a plug-in hybrid Ford F-150 pickup truck, Ford F-150 Lightning all-electric pickup trucks, a Ford E Transit, Ford Escapes, Volkswagen ID.4s, Chevy Bolts, a step van and bucket trucks with battery-powered technology, and other all-electric passenger vehicles. More vehicles have been ordered and will be added to our fleet as they become available.

EV engagement at MGE
MGE seeks to engage our employees in our efforts to grow the use of EVs. We offer five workplace charging stations, each with dual ports, to enable charging for employees while at work. Workplace charging offers many benefits, including employee attraction and retention and support for sustainable initiatives. 

Electric buses in Madison
The City of Madison is adding three all-electric buses to its public transportation fleet. MGE worked with the City’s Metro Transit to secure a $1.3 million federal grant for the zero-emission buses and contributed 100% of the required local matching funds for charging infrastructure for the buses. As part of the ongoing collaboration to electrify the City’s bus fleet, MGE is providing continued in-kind support and expertise to address technological issues and to facilitate the cost-effective and efficient use of energy. Zero-emission buses will play a key role in efforts to reduce carbon emissions. According to Proterra, the manufacturer of the buses, each year a Proterra electric bus operates in place of a diesel bus, it displaces more than 229,000 pounds of carbon dioxide. MGE continues to work with the City to seek ways to further the electrification of transportation. When the City received a Wisconsin Office of Energy Innovation grant to help purchase 20 all-electric Chevy Bolts, MGE partnered with the City to provide charging infrastructure for the new fleet vehicles.

Electric fire truck
MGE also has partnered with the City of Madison Fire Department to enable fast charging for the department’s first electric fire truck. The fire truck, manufactured by Pierce Manufacturing based in Appleton, Wis., began serving the community in mid-2021 as part of a pilot project.

Electric food truck
In late 2021, the University of Wisconsin-Madison unveiled its new electric food truck. MGE partnered with University Housing’s Dining and Culinary Services team and the UW-Madison Office of Sustainability to bring the all-electric food cart called Electric Eats to campus. “Fuel” costs for the electric food cart are 50% less than a comparable gasoline model, and it’s cleaner and quieter. The small, rechargeable truck runs on two chargeable batteries: one for the food service equipment and one to power the vehicle. These batteries can be charged in any standard 20-amp power outlet and supply enough energy for the truck to run for 50 miles and provide up to 10 hours of service before needing to be recharged.

EV charging for local school districts
MGE partnered with the Madison Metropolitan School District to install a charging station to serve its electric fleet vehicles. In addition to ongoing educational partnerships, MGE continues to work with local schools to evaluate charging options for their facilities.

Midcontinent Transportation Electrification Collaborative
As part of the Great Plains Institute’s Midcontinent Transportation Electrification Collaborative (M-TEC), we’re working with other utilities, state governments, automakers, EV charging companies and environmental groups to advance EV infrastructure and increase the use of EVs. Working together, the group conducts research, develops white papers and policy recommendations, and hosts workshops for stakeholders in the region. In 2021, M-TEC urged Congress to support investments in EV charging infrastructure; to keep the automotive supply chain in the U.S. by supporting EV and EV component manufacturing; and to support EV research, development and demonstration.

Sustainable transportation series
In spring 2022, MGE partnered with Wisconsin Clean Cities, the City of Madison and others to present the Transportation & Innovation Expo. Fleet managers and members of the public had the opportunity to attend panel sessions and get an up-close look at a variety of sustainable vehicles and equipment.

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EV resources and tools for drivers
MGE helps to educate customers, businesses and our community at-large about the benefits of EVs. Our experts have been on hand at many community events with a variety of EVs to share information on driving and charging EVs.

For example, each year, MGE sponsors the National Drive Electric Week event held in Madison. In 2022, local EV drivers registered to showcase their vehicles to attendees. MGE EV experts were available to share information about EVs and EV charging.

Our LovEV website helps customers discover why “there’s a lot to love” about EVs. LovEV highlights available models, explains charging options, and details potential cost and environmental savings. It is an easy, one-stop online resource at mge.com/LovEV.

The online tool, Explore My EV, gives users the opportunity to compare the costs of plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles to gasoline-powered models. The tool, available at mge.com/exploremyev, considers commute distances, available tax credits and maintenance costs, among other things through its online analysis.
Explore My EV homepage screenshot


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