Ameren last year announced plans to string six electric vehicle charging stations between St. Louis and Jefferson City. The pilot project was intended to gauge whether the stations would help boost the number of electric vehicle drivers in surrounding counties, relative to other areas.
Ameren’s plans hit a roadblock when state regulators at the Public Service Commission signaled that they were hesitant to exercise jurisdiction over the new technology. With a 4-1 vote last week, the commission made that position official.
The decision means regulated utilities such as Ameren can build stations, but they wouldn’t be assured of recovering the costs through rate increases spread across their base of customers.
The question now is whether the vote will snuff out Ameren’s interest in vehicle charging, or whether the utility will forge ahead like its cross-state counterpart, Kansas City Power & Light. That utility has helped Kansas City become a national leader in electric vehicle adoption.
Ameren, which postponed installation of its proposed charging stations, said in a statement that it is still determining “the appropriate next steps” after the PSC’s decision.
Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch