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Introducing the EV Spot Network  

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The EV Spot Network (formerly referred to as the Twin Cities Electric Vehicle Mobility Network, and referred to as such in documents throughout this site) is a project being developed by the City of Saint Paul, City of Minneapolis, HOURCAR, and Xcel Energy to create a network of electric vehicle charging hubs throughout the Twin Cities and make electric vehicles publicly available through a car-sharing service.

  • EV Spot Charging: The charging hubs will be located on public roadways throughout Saint Paul and Minneapolis and operated by the cities. Each charging hub will be available for users to plug in the shared electric vehicles, as well as for members of the public to charge privately-owned electric vehicles.
  • Evie Carsharing Service:  HOURCAR, a local car-sharing nonprofit, will operate the new car-sharing service called Evie. For the first time in the Twin Cities, this car-sharing service will use a one-way, semi free-floating model. That means that you can pick up car, drive where you need to go, and park the car on the street anywhere within the service area. If the vehicle is below a certain amount of charge, or it's nearing overnight hours, you'll be encouraged to return it to one of the charging hubs.

Taking public transit, biking, and walking are still the most sustainable ways to get around, but some trips are too long or inconvenient to access without a car. This car-sharing service offers a new option to make a sustainable transportation choice, complementing public transit and the Twin Cities' network of biking and walking paths.

The service also offers its members reliable car access without the cost of car ownership. You can use car-share for trips whenever you need a car, or have it be a back-up option for when other transportation methods aren't as convenient or accessible. We are still working out the exact cost of using the vehicles, but you will be able to pay by the minute for the time you drove. You won't need to pay for parking, insurance, or gas for the trip.

The network will launch in 2021. Stay tuned for updates!

Give us your input on the project by taking this survey!

Through a unique partnership, car-sharing in the Twin Cities will be more convenient, affordable, and accessible than ever before. This means communities that experience excess auto emissions will see cleaner air and people who are car-less will have more options. There will also be charging available for privately owned electric vehicles. Included in the new EV network is an electric vehicle car-share fleet and public curbside charging hubs. Car-sharing provides the benefits of car access without the burden of car ownership. By becoming a member of a car-sharing network, you have access to cars throughout a service area for short-term rental. You can take one-way or two-way trips and connect easily to bikes, scooters, and transit. You can pick up and drop off anywhere within a 35 sq. mile service area, paying a small membership fee and per-minute pricing. The hubs are also near bus stops, busy shopping areas, and other neighborhood spots. Visit hourcar.org to explore current service. You can visit www.stpaul.gov/EV or email charginghubs@ci.stpaul.mn.us for more info about the project.

Evie Carsharing Overview

Similar to renting a car, using a car-sharing service lets you access a vehicle without having to own one. You share the fleet of cars with your community, so each time you use the service you will likely be using a different car. Unlike with traditional car rentals, if you use the EV Spot Network, you will be able to pick up one of many cars parked within the service area any time of day or night. The cars will be available at curbside locations around the city, some plugged in at charging hubs and some just parked on the street by others who are using the service too.

Car-sharing makes car access a community resource, helping people save money, reducing air pollution, and lowering traffic congestion and parking demand in the area. For every car-sharing vehicle available in a community, the people of that community purchase 8 to 11 fewer cars than they did before. This lowers local air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, protecting public health and helping slow climate change.

You can learn more about HOURCAR's current services here

How to Use the Network

We are still working out the details, but we wanted to give you a basic idea of how this whole thing will work. We are in the process of gathering community input to help us develop the car-sharing service, so stay tuned for updates. 

The Evie Carsharing Service

If you want to use these car-share vehicles when they are available in 2021, you will first need to apply for an HOURCAR membership to verify that you have a driver's license, you are over 18 years old, and a few other details. You can visit HOURCAR's Join Us page to see how you would apply for membership now, although this process may change.

Charging the Vehicles The electric cars will need to be charged periodically at one of the new charging hubs throughout the cities, but you don't have to be the one plugging them in. When you finish your trip, you can look at a map to see which charging hubs near you have spots available. Most of the time, you'll be able to park the car on the street if that's more convenient. However, you may be asked to park the car at a charging hub in some cases when the car is low on charge. We are exploring ways we could discount your trip if you choose to park at a charging hub. 

The Service Area:  The service area is the region of the Twin Cities in which the cars will circulate. You will be able to look at a map of the service area to find a car. Then, when you finish driving, you can park the car in any legal street-side parking space in the service area or at any of the charging hubs where spots are available. When necessary, HOURCAR will move vehicles to make sure they are charged up well-distributed throughout the service area. 

The EV Spots

As part of this project, there will be electric vehicle charging hubs (EV Spots) built throughout the Twin Cities. At each EV Spot, there will be at least one charger available for public use as well as chargers reserved for HOURCAR's car-sharing vehicles. These EV Spots will substantially grow the existing charging network. One of the goals of creating this network is to make it easier for people to purchase to electric vehicles knowing that they can easily charge them throughout the cities. The cost of EVs is dropping fast. As soon as 2024, many EVs will be less expensive than gas-powered cars of a similar model. When prices fall, we expect higher demand for public charging, and this network will help meet that demand. 

Click here to learn more about all electric vehicle chargers in Saint Paul

How We Choose Charging Hub Locations

We know from other communities that that car-sharing is most successful in areas with a high density of residents and good transit service. We also know that car-sharing and good transit service has not always been accessible in an equitable way. Our goal is to expand access in Saint Paul and Minneapolis, placing them in some neighborhoods that have never had car-sharing before so that more people can access this resource.

Within each neighborhood in the service area, we're working to make the hubs conveniently and centrally located. We're taking into account a host of factors in placing these hubs proximity to affordable housing, multi-family housing units, local businesses, schools, libraries, recreation centers, while also locating them close to public transit networks and bike-friendly streets. In Minneapolis, siting is being coordinated with their mobility hubs pilot program. There are many logistic factors as well, including where there is space available and other city planning activities. Finally, we're considering hyper-local information such as unmarked loading zones and other local curbside activities that we would find alternative solutions for as part of this project. See below for general locations of the 35 charging hubs in each City; as the locations get finalized, a new map will be available and adjacent tenants/property owners will be directly notified. Please scroll further down this page to view specific locations where nearby tenants and property owners have been notified that a charging hub is planned.

Saint Paul map of general charging hub locations--subject to change Minneapolis map of general charging hub locations--subject to change

Image of map showing general Saint Paul charging hub locations.

map of general Minneapolis locations

Image of Location Selection Infographic English

For Adjacent Property Owners and Tenants

Read the City's notification letters: 

November 2, 2020

January 6, 2021

March 18, 2021

April 30, 2021

June 9, 2021

Marshall and Virginia notification letter (June 9, 2021)

 

Public Information Sheets

 

For Minneapolis Adjacent Property Owners and Tenants

Read the City's notification letters:

February 24, 2021

May 11, 2021

 

Public Information Sheets

    FAQs

    Community Input and Designing the Service

    Gathering and Responding to Community Input

    Within neighborhoods in the service area where car-sharing is a new service, we are partnering with local community organizations to help us do community outreach and inform people about the new charging hub network. Through this outreach, we are gathering input about the barriers that people may have to accessing car-share, as well as how pricing can be structured to minimize those barriers to access. In the fall of 2019 and spring of 2020, we also held focus groups supported by resources through the American Cities Climate Challenge as part of a project prototyping process. We began to hear from a diverse group of residents about how they would use (or not use) this new car-sharing service, helping us design the service with a goal of making it as beneficial as possible to our local community.Logos of community organization partners. Tamales y Bicicletas. Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association. Cedar Riverside. East Side Neighborhood Services. Dayton's Bluff Community Council. Frogtown Neighborhood Association. Payne Phalen. Juxtaposition Ar

    PDF icon Prototyping- What is it and why was it done?

     

    Community Engagement and Outreach Report

    Give us your input on the project by taking this survey!

     

     

     

    Watch Minneapolis Online Community Meeting Video (October 26, 2020)

    Front page image of the presentation for the Twin Cities Electric Vehicle Mobility Network Minneapolis Online Community Meeting

    Watch Saint Paul Online Community Meeting Video (October 28, 2020)

    Image of front page of slide deck for Saint Paul Online Community Meeting for the Twin Cities Electric Vehicle Mobility Network

    Note that these meetings took place prior to the new "EV Spot Network" name for the project.

     

    Our Partners

    HOURCAR

    HOURCAR is a locally based non-profit that introduced car-share to the Twin Cities in 2005. They currently have over 60 hubs throughout Minneapolis and Saint Paul and 8 different car models to choose from -- including an electric plug-in Prius and pick-up trucks. Although most cars are used for short-term rental, some can be checked out for a weekend getaway. HOURCAR offers a variety of plans for individuals and businesses.

    City of Minneapolis

    The City of Minneapolis is working with the City of Saint Paul to help design this service and host charging hubs throughout our two cities.

    East Metro Strong

    East Metro Strong is a public-private partnership of businesses, cities, and counties working together to bring more and better transit investment to the East Metro and catalyze job growth and economic development opportunities.

    Xcel Energy

    Xcel Energy provides energy that powers millions of homes and businesses across 8 Western and Midwestern state. Xcel Energy's plan to build a carbon-free future lays out a bold vision for reducing its carbon footprint. By 2030, Xcel plans for its electricity fuel mix to be 80% carbon free. By 2050, the company plans for all its electricity generation to be 100% net carbon-free.

    Funders

    The Saint Paul Foundation, McKnight Foundation, 3M Gives, Otto Bremer Trust, Minneapolis Foundation (through its Climate Action & Racial Equity Fund), Metro CERT (Great Plains Institute), and Energy Foundation, have all generously supported this project, in addition to the Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge

    This project is also a recipient of Federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funding via the Metropolitan Council's Regional Solicitation process, as well as a recipient of a Department of Energy grant with the partnership of the Lung Association.

    Materials Library

    Last Edited: October 14, 2021