Electric Vehicles

Minn. public power agency members commit to EV charging network

Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA) on Nov. 25 said that member municipal utilities have committed to establishing an electric vehicle (EV) charging network to help facilitate the transition to EVs in Greater Minnesota.

Participating members will be installing a DC Fast Charger and two dual-port level 2 chargers in each of their communities by the end of 2020, SMMPA said.

“Regardless of whether you are a small or large community, there is strength in numbers that creates economies of scale and sends a consistent message to our customers,” said Joe Hoffman, SMMPA Board President and Preston Public Utilities general manager, in a news release. “As a board, we felt it was critical to move forward together on this key initiative that will help our communities.” 

 SMMPA is partnering with ZEF Energy, the largest independently owned and operated DC Fast Charging Network in Minnesota and Wisconsin. SMMPA will purchase the chargers from ZEF Energy and transfer ownership to its member utilities. SMMPA will cover the cost of maintenance.

ZEF Energy was selected by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to install charging stations as part of the Volkswagen settlement under which Volkswagen will have to invest $2 billion over the next decade in electric vehicle charging infrastructure and in the promotion of zero-emission electric vehicles.

With SMMPA working on a similar timeline, ZEF Energy was able to leverage its expertise and purchasing power to create a package that was viable for SMMPA members, SMMPA said.

SMMPA member utilities are currently identifying potential sites for the chargers.

SMMPA provides electricity and related services to 18 municipally operated utilities, mostly in south-central and southeastern Minnesota.

Association releases electrification report

The American Public Power Association recently issued a report that outlines the various considerations and opportunities for fleet electrification, such as costs and incentives, charging infrastructure, and operations and maintenance.

For additional information about the report and other Association EV resources, click here.