The US cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul are set to launch a network of 100 percent renewably powered on-street electric vehicle (EV) charging points which can be used by private EVs as well as vehicles from the new publicly operated Evie Carshare service.
The EV Spot Network is a system of 70 EV charging locations within a 35-square-mile service area in the neighbouring cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.
Each EV Spot location has two dedicated parking spaces for personal vehicles and two spaces for Evie cars, with the network expected to be fully operational by autumn 2022.
“This network of chargers and carshare is here to support electric vehicle usage for all residents and visitors,” said Sean Kershaw, Director of Public Works, City of Saint Paul.
“With a robust charging infrastructure, Saint Paul and Minneapolis will be a welcoming place for people driving EVs and those who need a convenient way to get around town.”
The public-private partnership includes renewable electric infrastructure provided by Xcel Energy, a carshare fleet leased by the City of Saint Paul, and Evie Carshare operated by local nonprofit HOURCAR.
When all 70 EV Spot Charging locations are installed and activated, the number of public charging ports in the Twin Cities will have increased by 50 percent.
Initially the Evie Carshare fleet will comprise 101 cars, with an eventual total fleet size of 171 electric vehicles.
The cities claim the service will cost customers approximately half of what other one-way carshare services charge elsewhere in the US and will also include a qualified low-income plan.
The service was due to launch last year, but was delayed following a recall of Chevy Bolt cars by General Motors, which said that “rare circumstances” could have caused a battery fire in chargeable Chevy Bolt EV and EUV vehicles.
General Motors began shipping replacement battery modules to car dealers after delays caused by shutdowns at manufacturing plants due to a shortage of semiconductors.
To launch Evie, the cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis contributed upwards of US$1 million between them, on top of federal funds and US$4 million from Xcel Energy.
Commenting on the initiatives, Brette Hjelle, Interim Director of Minneapolis Public Works, said: “We’re thrilled to present this positive new development in our cities’ histories as we make electric vehicle usage and ownership more accessible for everyone.”
Image: Evie Carshare
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