Contact: Mary Robinson, 651-757-2525
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) announced $170,000 in grants available to help install up to 22 additional dual-port electric vehicle (EV) Level 2 charging stations in public places and workplace locations. Smart investments in EV charging stations will support the growing use of EVs in Minnesota. Applications for grant funds are due by 4:30 p.m. on February 8, 2021.
EVs are significantly cleaner than traditional vehicles already, and they offer even more climate benefits when charged with renewable energy sources instead of fossil-fueled electricity. With this grant round, MPCA is offering a new incentive for charging station owners to add clean energy sources at the same time. Grant applications will get extra points if the project adds power from a new solar array. The more solar added, the more points awarded.
This grant opportunity is one part of the agency’s initiative to expand access to EV technology across the state using funds from Minnesota’s share of the national Volkswagen (VW) settlement. As of November 2020, MPCA has used VW dollars to install nearly 50 charging stations throughout the state: 22 fast-charging stations along highway corridors in Greater Minnesota and 25 dual-port Level 2 charging stations in local communities. The agency has also used settlement funds to pay for a variety of electric heavy-duty vehicles and off-road equipment, and will invest approximately $3 million in an electric school bus pilot project, which recently generated an overwhelming interest in electric vehicles, demonstrated by approximately 19 applications for more than 40 buses. The agency currently has an open grant opportunity to fund additional fast-charging corridors in Greater Minnesota.
Level 2 charging stations are ideally placed in locations where EV drivers plan to park for at least 30 minutes, such as retail, restaurants, workplaces, or government buildings. In 2020, the City of Coon Rapids used MPCA grant funding to install two new Level 2 charging stations outside public buildings where community members can easily access them. “We placed one in the city hall parking lot and another outside of the Coon Rapids Ice Center,” explained Dzevad Mahmutovic, facilities operations manager for the city. “We’re proud that we can now provide a convenient charging option for EV drivers in our community.”