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Posted on: September 25, 2020

Charge Up!

Electric vehicle charging station and green painted parking space

Two new electric vehicle charging stations will put Coon Rapids on the map. The City installed charging stations in the parking lot of the Coon Rapids Ice Center and at the City Hall campus, outside the Civic Center.

Locally-based Cedar Creek Energy handled the installation. Senior project manager Patrick Farnham says electric vehicle charging stations are gaining a foothold in the alternative energy market.

“There are a handful of cities around the metro that have them. Coon Rapids is definitely on the front end of that but, as more people electrify their vehicles, you’ll see more and more of these charging stations pop up.”

A $15,000 grant through the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency helped pay for the charging stations, while the City Council committed to the final 20 percent of the cost. The 60-amp, Level II charging stations can each charge two electric vehicles at once and are free for the public to use.

Diana McKeown of the Great Plains Institute helped facilitate the grant process. She says transportation is the number one emitter for greenhouse gases and carbon. McKeown says electric vehicles are an important piece of the solution and are becoming more widespread every day.  She estimates at least one electric vehicle will be registered in every Minnesota county by the end of the year.

“They’re here to stay and we know the benefit of reduced emissions and over the life of the vehicle,” she said. “And the chargers are important.”

McKeown says electric vehicle owners do about 80 percent of their charging at home overnight. An overnight charge is enough to cover most daily usage within about 100 miles. Plugging into one of the new units in Coon Rapids for about an hour will give most electric vehicles enough charge for another 10 to 20 miles. The cost to the City for a quick charge is so small, it’s not even worth charging a fee.

PlugShare.com tracks the location of charging stations. The two new units in Coon Rapids will join a network of more than 700 across the state.

“By having an electric vehicle charger here, it will literally put Coon Rapids on the map,” said McKeown.

The electric vehicle charging stations are now available to the public at the Coon Rapids Ice Center and Civic Center.

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