FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 18, 2020
City of Saint Paul
City of Minneapolis
Saint Paul, MN - The Twin Cities Electric Vehicle Mobility Network (TCEVMN) has been awarded $6.7 million by the U.S Department of Energy (DOE) as part of its Advanced Innovative Vehicle Technologies program. The TCEVMN, led by the City of Saint Paul in partnership with the City of Minneapolis, Xcel Energy, HOURCAR, and East Metro Strong, will build 70 charging hubs in the two cities, primarily in the public right-of-way. These hubs, powered by renewable energy, will provide public charging for electric vehicles and will also host a new, one-way electric vehicle carsharing service operated by local non-profit HOURCAR. The award was the third-largest in the DOE’s $139 million announcement and will be administered by the Lung Association.
“Addressing our climate crisis through clean energy solutions while improving our community’s connectivity is more vital than ever,” said Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter. “In the face of this enduring public health and economic crisis, this collaboration will support a sustainable and resilient future for our children and grandchildren.”
“Developing more mobility options continues to be a priority in Minneapolis,” said Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey. “Amid the challenges our cities face, it’s critical that private and public partners maintain their commitment to sustainability and combating the climate crisis. In this case, EV carshare and public charging powered by renewable energy are perfectly aligned with our overall goals, including achieving 100% renewable electricity by 2030.”
Xcel Energy will provide up to $4M of electrical infrastructure for the project as part of a PUC-approved package of electric vehicle pilots.
“Xcel Energy is proud to support this public/private partnership that will transform car sharing in the Twin Cities,” said Chris Clark, president, Xcel Energy-Minnesota. “We have a long-term plan to bring clean energy to transportation, with a vision to power 1.5 million electric vehicles by 2030 in the communities we serve across eight states. Partnerships like this help ensure that an electric vehicle future will benefit all customers.”
“We’re thrilled by this award,” said HOURCAR CEO Paul Schroeder. “We’re enthusiastic about working with such terrific partners to bring renewable, affordable, and accessible transportation options to Twin Cities residents and visitors.”
In addition to the vehicles and charging stations, the DOE award includes support for community engagement and outreach. The project team has established partnerships with ten local community-based organizations (CBOs) that will lead engagement in their respective communities. Each CBO is tasked with creatively engaging community members around the benefits of electric vehicles and how car-sharing works, as well as identifying and addressing some the obstacles community members face around using this service. The project will also include “ride and drives” and other community events (as state guidelines allow). The TCEVMN will also install some Direct Current Fast Chargers (DCFC), which can refuel most electric vehicles in 30 minutes or less.
The Lung Association, which through the U.S. Department of Energy manages the Minnesota and North Dakota Clean Cities coalitions, has helped to establish a network of these high-speed chargers along I-94. The Lung Association also recently concluded a three-year, multi-state project to raise awareness and understanding of electric vehicles in the Midwest.
“The Lung Association supports the development and demonstration of technologies that reduce public health impacts from the transportation sector,” said Missi Arens, executive director of the Lung Association in Minnesota. “This is especially important for our underserved communities, whose residents often live in areas with higher localized air pollution and fewer transportation options.”
This unique and innovative project has received support from the American Cities Climate Challenge, the Saint Paul Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, 3M Gives, the Otto Bremer Trust, the Minneapolis Foundation (through its Climate Action and Racial Equity Fund), and the Energy Foundation. The TCEVMN is also a recipient of $4M in Federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) funding awarded by the Metropolitan Council in view of the project's efforts to reduce vehicle miles traveled and local tailpipe emissions.
In addition to the TCEVMN and as part of the same DOE award, Xcel Energy and HOURCAR plan to bring electric vehicle charging plus two-way EV carsharing to 25 multi-unit developments around the metro.
“Residents of multi-family buildings need access to convenient, affordable, clean transportation, but face other barriers, including not being able to install their own chargers,” said Will Schroeer, Executive Director of East Metro Strong. “This project will create that access for people around the region.” TCEVMN partner East Metro Strong will lead the multi-family work together with HOURCAR and Xcel Energy.
The TCEVMN is scheduled to launch in 2021 and reach full scale by mid-2022. More information can be found at www.stpaul.gov/ev.
East Metro Strong