An alliance of electric utilities, government agencies and environmental groups recently completed the first highway corridor that’s fully friendly to electric vehicles (EVs) in Minnesota .
EVs can now charge all the way from Twin Cities to North Shore and beyond. Travellers on Interstate 35 and Highway 61 will have access to sufficient charging stations along the route, ensuring they don’t run out of power.
The project, increases in EV charging stations and regulatory support is expected to increase the adoption of EVs in the region.
Increases in consumer use of EVs will help Minnesota state to reach a target to reduce emissions from vehicles by 30% over the next ten years. The state government has plans to lead in adoption of EVs by adding more than 1,500 EVs to its fleet.
Larry Herke, director of the Office of Enterprise Sustainability, said in addition to increasing EV charging infrastructure, the state is allowing the locals to buy their vehicles under the state contract, at a better price, to encourage greater use of electric vehicles.
There are already 60 charging stations in the Capitol complex in St. Paul, added Herke.
Local governments can save money on fuel with electric vehicles, said Dan Thiede, a spokesman for the Clean Energy Research Teams at the University of Minnesota.
The I-35 corridor is a perfect place to encourage electric vehicle use, said David Ranallo, a senior marketing specialist with the electric co-op Great River Energy.
The Minnesota highway corridor will likely not be the last of its kind. Other likely routes include I-94 from the Twin Cities to Fargo and I-90 across the southern part of the state.
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