A bill introduced in the Minnesota House Wednesday calls for $8 million in funding to assist with installing “public electric vehicle supply equipment” across the state.
As The Minnesota Sun previously reported, the Twin Cities Metropolitan Council recently approved $4 million in funding for a shared electric-car program set to be introduced throughout the metro area. The Met Council is partnering with HOURCAR on the project and will install electric vehicles and charging stations near transit stops in St. Paul and Minneapolis.
The other half of the $8 million projects will come from Xcel Energy, whose president, Chris Clark, said he is “excited to partner with HOURCAR and the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis on this transformative car-sharing project.”
Now, Rep. Todd Lippert (D-Northfield) wants to expand access to electric vehicles by appropriating $8 million in the fiscal year 2020 from the general fund to the Department of Transportation to “install public electric vehicle supply equipment throughout the state.”
“Electric vehicle supply equipment” generally just refers to charging stations for electric vehicles. According to EV Connect, the cost of installing a charging station can range from anywhere between $500 and $5,000.
Lippert’s bill requires that 60 percent of the funds be used in areas outside of the seven-county metro area, though it’s unclear how many rural Minnesotans actually use electric vehicles.
“No more than 40 percent of the appropriation may be used for equipment installation within the seven-county metropolitan area. No more than ten percent of the appropriation may be devoted to equipment with a maximum charging capability of less 150 kilowatts,” the bill stipulates.
Lippert, a freshman member of the Minnesota House, made “clean energy” one of his core campaign issues during the 2018 midterm elections.
“I also think it’s very important that we invest in clean energy. I think there’s great opportunity for small towns and rural communities in the jobs that will come with these investments,” he said in a campaign ad.
His bill is currently co-sponsored by four fellow Democratic legislators, and was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee for a hearing.
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Todd Lippert” by Todd Lippert. Background Photo “Electric Car Charging Station” by Felix Kramer (CalCars). CC BY-SA 2.0.