Spread of Electric Cars Sparks Fights for Control Over Charging

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unfolding in states across America over who should control the charging stations that could gradually replace fuel pumps.

From Exelon Corp. to Southern California Edison, utilities have sought regulatory approval to invest millions of dollars in upgrading their infrastructure to prepare for charging and, in some cases, to own and operate chargers.

The proposals are sparking concerns from consumer advocates about higher electric rates and oil companies about subsidizing rivals. They are also drawing opposition from startups that say the successors to gas stations should be open to private-sector competition, not controlled by monopoly utilities.

That debate is playing out in regulatory commissions throughout the U.S. as states and utilities promote wider adoption of electric vehicles. At stake are charging infrastructure investments expected to total more than $13 billion over the next five years, according to energy consulting firm Wood Mackenzie. That wo

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