Minnesota’s Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is to fund the installation of up to 38 additional fast charging stations in Greater Minnesota, extending the existing EV highway corridor network by more than 2,500 miles.
Chargers will be placed 30 to 70 miles apart along seven proposed corridors:
- From Duluth to Grand Portage State Park on MN-61
- Travelling east-west across northern Minnesota on MN-1 between Ely and Thief River Falls
- From Granite Falls north to Karlstad on US Route 59
- From Saint Cloud to Marshall, Pipestone and beyond on MN-23
“Minnesota has set ambitious goals for powering 20% of light-duty cars with electricity by 2030 and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050,” said MPCA Commissioner, Laura Bishop.
“Funding infrastructure projects like this will help us reach our goals while supporting Minnesota’s green economy and our growing EV market.”
Between 2018 and 2019, the number of EV registrations in Minnesota nearly doubled, but gaps in the charging network may dissuade potential buyers who want to travel freely and not worry about where they can recharge, notes MPCA.
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In the last two years, MPCA expanded Minnesota’s EV charging network along highway corridors by around 1,100 miles and funded 25 Level 2 charging stations, each with two charging ports, in local communities.
The new US$2.6m grant opportunity leverages funds from the national Volkswagen settlement to build out a network of fast charging stations. Applicants will be asked to place five to seven fast chargers along specific segments of roadway.
“When we’ve asked Minnesotans how we should spend funds from the Volkswagen settlement, building EV infrastructure is one of the most widely supported proposals,” added MPCA electric vehicle programme administrator, Rebecca Place.
“We are planning for the future by ensuring each charging station has a back-up station and enough electrical capacity for future expansion.”
The grants are intended to help reduce vehicle emissions in Minnesota by encouraging use of EVs rather than petrol-powered cars.