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Ameren’s EV charging station coalition expands with Iowa energy provider

Ameren’s effort to expand the country’s electric vehicle charging network alongside other Midwestern energy companies is growing with the inclusion of Iowa-based Alliant Energy. 

Ameren took the lead of an 11-state effort last year, working with other utility companies to plan an EV charging network stretching from Wisconsin to Texas. Most of Iowa will be covered under Alliant’s service area, expanding the reach of the network and offering more drivers the chance to drive EVs without worrying about finding a charging station, the company said. 

“Just as we are transitioning to more clean energy to reduce carbon emissions, electric vehicles will be an important way for individuals and businesses to reduce their own impact on the environment,” Marty Lyons, chairman and president of Ameren Missouri, said. “We welcome Alliant Energy as they join Ameren and other energy companies in making it easier to drive EVs throughout the Midwest by enabling convenient access to charging.”

There are more than 2 million EVs on U.S. roads supported by about 100,000 charging stations, according to Ameren. The coalition predicted more than 18.5 million EVs will be on the road by the start of the next decade, requiring about 9.6 million stations to keep pace with the demand.

The announcement was made during National Drive Electric Week, an annual event drawing attention to the emerging technology.  

“Alliant Energy strives to be a leader in electrification initiatives and embraces innovative opportunities, like this one,” Terry Kouba, president of Alliant Energy’s Iowa company, said. “Collaborations such as these enhance our purpose-driven strategy to serve customers and build stronger communities.”

Ameren and Alliant plan for their new light-duty company vehicle purchases to be electric, with Ameren aiming for 35 percent of its heavy-duty fleet to be electric by the same year. 

The coalition includes Evergy and Liberty Utilities, two companies providing electric service to Missouri customers. MidAmerica Energy, Midwest Energy, Duke-Indiana, DTE Energy, Oklahoma Gas and Electric, and Consumers Energy are also participating in the multi-state effort. 

The coalition aims to have its charging infrastructure in place by the end of 2022.

Ameren Missouri committed to $8 billion in clean energy investments over the next 20 years as part of its effort to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The company is upping its investment in wind and solar generation facilities and hopes to retire its coal plants in the next two decades. 

 Missouri Division of Energy Director Craig Redmon recently told The Missouri Times the state is allowing utilities to take the lead on clean energy conversions, citing Ameren’s long-term plan as an example of company initiative while other states are requiring clean energy and EVs through legislation. 

The emerging technology has also drawn the interest of electric cooperatives, Kansas City, and the federal government: Missouri expects to receive around $99 million from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to bolster its EV charging network.