To support electric vehicle (EV) use and make ownership practical for more residents, Minnesota needs a statewide network of EV charging stations. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has awarded grant funds to ZEF Energy, Inc., of Minneapolis to install 22 EV charging stations around Minnesota.
This investment in fast-charging stations along major roadways will increase Minnesota’s charging network by 1,110 miles, expanding EV access into greater Minnesota and allowing drivers to travel longer distances throughout the state, reducing range anxiety.
Whether charged with all renewable energy or on the electricity grid, adopting electric vehicles can help reduce our state’s greenhouse gas emissions. Electric vehicles have zero tailpipe emissions, reducing air pollution on and near roadways. Driving an EV instead of a gas-powered vehicle also reduces emissions of nitrogen oxides, fine particles, and volatile organic compounds.
ZEF Energy will install 50 kW fast-charging stations in Bemidji, Grand Rapids, Detroit Lakes, St. Cloud, Willmar, Marshall, Rochester, and Mankato. One 150 kW fast-charging station will be installed in Albert Lea, convenient to both I-90 and I-35.
The remaining 13 station locations have not been selected yet. ZEF Energy is seeking local partners to help locate and develop stations in communities along each corridor. ZEF Energy will design, build, own, and operate the infrastructure, including long-term maintenance.
The national Volkswagen Diesel Emission Mitigation Settlement provided funding for this project. Minnesota is leading by example and spending the maximum amount allowed under the terms of the settlement — 15% — on zero-emission vehicle infrastructure. The MPCA is asking for public input about how we should use Volkswagen settlement funds totaling $23.5 million in the next phase (2020-2023). See the VW web pages to learn more about the planning process and how you can submit comments. Or visit the EV page to learn more about electric vehicles in Minnesota.