Search Icon
Clean Energy

Happy Earth Day! Electric Cars Now Running Even Greener

Windsource® helping deliver cleaner electric car charging options

By: | April 13, 2018 7:53 pm

 Technology continues to advance and the technology in electric cars is no exception. With each new model, electric vehicles are becoming more capable. They go farther and charge faster. Electric cars are emerging from being specialty vehicles to gradually garnering mainstream acceptance.

Electric vehicles are gaining acceptance as automotive transportation solutions, so the question becomes, how much better are they for our environment?

For electric cars within Xcel Energy’s Minnesota service area, the news is good

As Xcel Energy adds more renewables to its system, the energy that powers electric cars keeps getting cleaner. According to research done by the Great Plains Institute and the Argonne National Laboratory, when compared to gasoline-powered vehicles, electric vehicles in Minnesota provide a greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction of at least 61 percent in most cases (Xcel Energy electric mix) and up to 95 percent in many cases.1 And this data includes fuel refining and distribution along with vehicle and battery manufacturing.

For Colorado, it’s a clean break from oil, with savings too!

When compared to internal combustion engine (ICE) light-duty vehicle, Colorado EVs equated to a 37 percent reduction in CO2 emissions. That adds up to 80 percent in annual savings in fuel costs, or $1,089 per vehicle. Across all of Colorado, that displaces nearly 45,000 barrels of crude oil2 each year.

And those numbers are projected to get even better as Xcel Energy commits to an overall goal of attaining 53 percent carbon-freeenergy resources.

electric car

Watch a one-minute video on EVs and renewable charging.


EV owners can now drive like the wind.

While utilities are not known for taking risks, Xcel Energy did stake a claim in early wind turbine energy generation back in the early 2000s. Since then, the company has greatly expanded the amount of wind energy4 incorporated into the system, and has been a national leader in wind energy for more than a decade.

Learn more about our Windsource® for Electric Vehicles program

By 2021, Xcel Energy plans to grow total wind generating capacity system-wide by almost 55 percent to over 10,000 megawatts. FYI, one megawatt-hour can power approximately 1,000 homes for one hour.

With all these clean, renewable resources available for charging, this may be the year to declare the electric car the official vehicle of Earth Day.

EV growth now also driving recharging infrastructure.

Plug-in electric vehicle sales have been growing continually since 2010, with one million EVs on the road currently in the U.S. In the eight states7 that Xcel Energy services, you can find 15,000 electric cars.

As these vehicles enter the market, there is more acceptance and familiarity. Growing with the interest in and adoption of electric cars is a charging infrastructure that is also responding to demand.

Today more and more retail stores, multi-unit residential buildings such as apartment buildings and even many municipalities are providing electric vehicle charging stations for their properties as amenities.

The next five years could prove to be a turning point for EV adoption as more charging station locations become available–and that means fewer tailpipes on our roads.

Nissan Leaf Rebate

The Nissan® Leaf® is the number-one-selling electric car in the world, with over with over 300,000 units sold.6


Going renewable takes on a second meaning.

The economics of electric cars is also showing promise. Incentives and the continuing Federal Tax credit of $7,500 offer reasons to purchase an EV. Always check with your tax advisor to get all the details.

More drivers also realize that EVs typically require less maintenance than conventional vehicles with traditional internal combustion engines.

Imagine no more

  • oil changes
  • spark plugs – tune-ups
  • air filters
  • transmission fluid changes
  • muffler
  • radiator hoses or flushes

And that can mean fewer waste materials ending up in our landfills, which is another earth-friendly factor!

Are you ready to plug into the future?

It is estimated that in 2018, well over 200,000 plug-in vehicleswill be sold across the U.S. Will you be one of those driving electric?

To learn how to get behind the wheel of an EV visit Xcel Energy and subscribe to our EV newsletter.

Also, check out these other EV posts on the CONNECT blog.

The Basics of Charging

Winter Driving Tips

The Surprising History of EVs

What to Look for in a Used EV

Is the EV Lifestyle Right for You?

3 & 4



A self-professed energy nerd, Paul loves to explore how technology trends are bringing convenience and surprising benefits to our lives.

Road safety
Xcel Energy interns
Clean energy
clean energy
Nissan Leaf Rebate
Nissan Leaf Rebate