As the electric vehicle (EV) market continues to expand, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) says it will fund the installation of up to 38 additional fast-charging stations in the state, extending the existing EV highway corridor network by more than 2,500 miles.
Fast chargers can fully recharge an EV with a 100-mile range in as little as 20 minutes, depending on the car battery. Chargers will be placed 30 to 70 miles apart along seven proposed corridors, making it easier than ever for Minnesotans to use EVs to travel longer distances, including:
-From Duluth to Grand Portage State Park on MN-61
-Traveling east-west across northern Minnesota on MN-1 between Ely and Thief River Falls
-From Granite Falls north to Karlstad on U.S. 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,” says Laura Bishop, commissioner of MPCA. “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. In the last two years, MPCA expanded Minnesota’s EV charging network along highway corridors by approximately 1,100 miles and funded 25 Level 2 charging stations, each with two charging ports, in local communities.
The new $2.6 million grant opportunity leverages funds from the national Volkswagen settlement to build out a network of fast-charging stations so EVs can travel farther across the state. Applicants will be asked to place five to seven fast chargers along specific segments of the roadway.
The grants are intended to help reduce vehicle emissions in Minnesota by encouraging the use of EVs rather than gas-powered cars. Passenger vehicles are one of the largest sources of climate-changing greenhouse gases and air pollution in Minnesota, accounting for nearly 70% of total GHG emissions from the transportation sector.
Photo: MCPA’s Grants web page