Regional electric vehicle charging network will alleviate range anxiety, encourage EV adoption
Dec. 16, 2020 – A group of 29 electric co-ops has created a regional electric vehicle (EV) charging network across Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota named CHARGE EV, LLC, including Minnesota cooperatives MiEnergy, Peoples and Freeborn-Mower. The network includes over 30 Level 2 and Level 3 charging stations.
“Electric co-ops have brand awareness and a strong relationship with their members and communities,” said Nate Boettcher, CEO at Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services (Ellsworth, Wis). “We want to ensure when EV drivers leave their co-op service area they know other EV charging stations are available throughout the upper Midwest powered by electric co-ops.”
The group of co-ops is planning for future growth in EVs, and wants to alleviate “range anxiety,” which is the concern some people have about traveling in an EV without a place to charge their vehicle.
“Our goal is to provide EV owners peace of mind driving from Iowa to northern Wisconsin, or from Minnesota to Illinois, knowing there are co-op powered chargers along their route. That will give people confidence to consider an EV and encourage growth in the EV market,” said Jeff Springer, Manager of Innovation and Efficient Electrification at Dairyland Power Cooperative (La Crosse, Wis.).
The CHARGE EV infrastructure is just the start as the group plans for additional investments in the EV market including member education on installing home chargers and encouraging members to test drive EVs.
“We are proving this can be done in the upper Midwest where EV adoption has been slow, but we believe the real value will be in having other utilities join under the CHARGE EV brand,” Boettcher said. “We hope in the near future there is a national co-op EV brand and charging network.”
Charger locations and other information can be found at www.charge.coop.
CHARGE EV Electric Cooperatives
Allamakee-Clayton Electric Cooperative Inc., Postville, Iowa Barron Electric Cooperative, Barron, Wis.
Bayfield Electric Cooperative, Iron River, Wis.
Central Wisconsin Electric Cooperative, Rosholt, Wis. Chippewa Valley Electric Cooperative, Cornell, Wis.
Clark Electric Cooperative, Greenwood, Wis.
Dairyland Power Cooperative, La Crosse, Wis.
Dunn Energy Cooperative, Menomonie, Wis.
Eau Claire Energy Cooperative, Fall Creek, Wis.
Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services, Albert Lea, Minn. Heartland Power Cooperative, Thompson, Iowa
Jackson Electric Cooperative, Black River Falls, Wis.
Jo-Carroll Energy, Elizabeth, Ill.
Jump River Electric Cooperative, Ladysmith, Wis.
MiEnergy Cooperative, Rushford, Minn.
Oakdale Electric Cooperative, Oakdale, Wis.
Oconto Electric Cooperative, Oconto Falls, Wis.
People’s Energy Cooperative, Oronoco, Minn.
Pierce Pepin Electric Cooperative, Ellsworth, Wis.
Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative, Centuria, Wis.
Price Electric Cooperative, Phillips, Wis.
Richland Electric Cooperative, Richland Center, Wis.
Riverland Electric Cooperative, Arcadia, Wis.
Rock Energy Cooperative, Janesville, Wis.
Scenic Rivers Energy Cooperative, Lancaster, Wis.
St. Croix Electric Cooperative, Hammond, Wis.
Taylor Electric Cooperative, Medford, Wis.
Vernon Electric Cooperative, Westby, Wis.
Washington Island Electric Cooperative, Washington Island, Wis.
Nate Boettcher, President CHARGE EV, LLC
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