Thursday, January 26, 2023

Electric Fast-Charging Retail Rate Now Offered by Oxford Utilities

Oxford gas stations and other businesses can now install electric fast-charging stations and sell electricity to customers who own electric vehicles.

Earlier this week, the Oxford Board of Aldermen approved the addition of an electric vehicle charging (EVC) retail rate to the Oxford Utilities resale rate schedule.

Businesses will pay $100 per delivery point per month plus about $.12 per kilowatt-hour per month for on- and off-peak houses and $.08 per total metered kilowatt-hour per month for a distribution delivery charge.

Currently, there are no regulations as to what gas stations or other businesses can charge customers to use the chargers.

“Of course, this all is in the early stages and I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some type of regulation on that eventually,” said Oxford Utilities Superintendent Bob Neely. “The fast-chargers are quite expensive so it’s likely the electricity won’t be given away cheaply.”

As the popularity and need for fast-chargers increases, Neely said competition will eventually drive prices.

A record 761,000 electric vehicles were sold in 2020, representing the fifth consecutive year of growth in EV sales, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation. By the end of March, more than 300,000 electric cars were sold and overall sales in 2021 are expected to surpass 2020 sales.

One issue that causes some to avoid purchasing electric vehicles is “range anxiety,” or drivers worried that there aren’t enough charging stations available if and when needed.

Oxford Utilities is currently working with the Tennessee Valley Authority to provide its own fast-charging station in town. TVA has started a program to incentivize local power companies in the TVA region to install fast chargers every 50 miles along the major corridors in the valley in hopes of eliminating “range anxiety.”