Kentucky Utilities Company and Louisville Gas and Electric Company filed requests with the Kentucky Public Service Commission to allow the companies to own and operate electric vehicle charging stations within their two service territories.
While the specific locations have not been selected, each utility is requesting approval to place 10 stations in public access areas such as street parking, parking lots and outdoor areas. Additionally, the utilities are requesting the ability to offer business customers the opportunity to host the charging station as long as they agree to a five-year commitment.
“In recent years, we have been informally approached by customers and local governments about offering electric vehicle charging stations,” said John P. Malloy, vice president of Customer Services. “The service and rate schedules—currently being developed—will help enable us to meet our customers’ needs, learn more about charging technology and network infrastructure, collect information on the electric vehicle charging market, better gauge and understand customer preferences, and assess the potential market for a broader deployment of charging stations.”
According to the Electric Power Research Institute, more than 15,000 electric vehicles have been registered in the state of Kentucky since 2010. While they represent less than 3 percent of the total number of registered vehicles in Kentucky, the purchase and use of electric vehicles in Kentucky is increasing.
“We realize that, for this number to increase, there must be an investment in charging stations. It is especially important to combat ‘range anxiety’ in which consumers fear the battery range is insufficient to support their driving patterns,” added Malloy.
Currently, there are about 30 public charging stations in Kentucky, 19 of which are in the LG&E and KU service territories. Of those 19, 13 are located at automotive dealerships.
Under the proposed filing, the full cost of charging stations, including maintenance, installation, and energy usage, will be borne by those who request the stations or who use the charging service.