Minnesota Department of Transportation Releases Pathways to Decarbonizing Transportation Report

September 18, 2019 in News & Press, Transportation & Fuels Author: Gail Nosek

A new report from the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) shows routes to a lower-carbon future for the largest greenhouse gas emitting sector in the state. The Pathways to Decarbonizing Transportation report was created through public input and modeling and outlines recommendations and next steps toward reducing emissions. Continue reading »

New Resources to Help Cities Add Electric Fleet Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure

September 10, 2019 in Communities, Transportation & Fuels Author: Diana McKeown

During 2018-1928 Minnesota cities worked together in regional cohorts through the Cities Charging Ahead! (CCA) project to learn and act together to become “electric vehicle (EV) ready communities.” These cities increased their knowledge significantly and made strides toward their goals to foster EV adoption in their communities. CCA, which was led by the Great Plains Institute and Clean Energy Resource Teams, officially wrapped up in June but the cities have expressed an interest in continuing to meet periodically in their regional cohorts. To build on this interest and the knowledge gained through CCA, we’ve developed resources that are now available for other cities to learn from.  Continue reading »

How to Electrify Your Fleet: Lessons from Cities Charging Ahead Fleet Studies

September 4, 2019 in Transportation & Fuels Author: Joe Cella

Stakeholder groups working to increase electric vehicle (EV) adoption often highlight the money you can save by driving an EV over the lifetime of the vehicle as one of several benefits of switching to an EV. Many studies support this finding on EV savings (such as this one from MIT) and have caught the interest of cities which manage a fleet of vehicles. Recently, Minnesota cities working together in the Cities Charging Ahead effort (more info here) saw firsthand through an analysis of their fleet just how much they could save by replacing certain vehicles in their municipal fleets with EVs. Continue reading »

Electric Vehicle Charging Station Economics: GPI’s DC Fast Charging Calculator

August 15, 2019 in Electricity, Transportation & Fuels Author: Dane McFarlane

Person using a calculatorAs part of our research on the economics of DC fast charging, the Great Plains Institute created a model to calculate the costs and revenue of operating an electric vehicle (EV) charging station. Through our work with the EV industry, we’ve often heard charging operators, community leaders, and EV owners express a desire to explore how station operation impacts costs for both EV charger owners and users. Continue reading »

Analysis: How Demand Charges Impact Electric Vehicle Fast Charging Infrastructure

July 31, 2019 in Electricity, Reports & Whitepapers, Transportation & Fuels Authors: Dane McFarlane, Matt Prorok

GPI recently released a white paper analyzing the economics of direct current fast charging (DCFC) as part of our work with the Midcontinent Transportation Electrification Collaborative (MTEC). DCFC stations are critical for widespread adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) because they provide access to much faster battery charging in public places and along major driving routes and highways. The white paper focused on a specific barrier to increased DCFC stations in the region: electric utility demand charges.  Continue reading »

Reducing Transportation Emissions Through Better Zoning

June 19, 2019 in Reports & Whitepapers, Transportation & Fuels Authors: Brian Ross, Clairece Cooke

Local governments across the nation are leading on solutions to address climate change that will bring major benefits to their communities, from cleaner air to saving money on energy bills. Over 400 mayors in the US signed accords to meet the Paris climate goals, and hundreds of American cities have taken the next steps of establishing carbon emission benchmarks, setting carbon reduction or carbon neutrality goals, and creating climate action or energy plans on how to achieve their local goals. Continue reading »

Legislative Outcome on Electric Vehicles in Minnesota—Going Forward by Not Going Backward

June 11, 2019 in Transportation & Fuels Author: Brendan Jordan

We communicated a great deal about electric vehicle (EV) bills in the Minnesota legislature this year given their potential to shape the trajectory of EV adoption in the state. Some of the proposals would have increased EV adoption and infrastructure while others would have put up barriers. Minnesota’s legislature officially adjourned on May 20 and then completed its work in a short special session a few days later. So, what happened on EVs?  Continue reading »

Electrifying the Family Road Trip

June 10, 2019 in Electricity, Transportation & Fuels Author: Gail Nosek

The American Automobile Association (AAA) expects 100 million Americans and more than 50 percent of families to pack up the car for a road trip this summer (even more than last year). 

In Minnesota, the popular trip ‘Up North’ to Lake Superior is the first to go fully electric with the Interstate 35 corridor now boasting enough chargers to power any electric vehicle (EV) from the Twin Cities to Duluth. Historic Highway 61, made famous by Bob Dylan’s acoustics, is also now electrified with chargers located near popular recreational and historic stops.  Continue reading »