Advocate for EV-Ready Parking Lots

By 2025, it is estimated that more than 3.5 million electric cars will be sold in the U.S. each year. Duluth can help meet its reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption goals by encouraging the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). According to Minnesota’s Department of Transportation, “Minnesota is working to become the Midwestern leader for plug-in electric vehicle (EV) use. In 2018, there were nearly 7,000 EV registrations total in the state. Over 600 public charging station outlets are located throughout the state.” But we need to do more and expanding PEV stations can help encourage Duluth residents to consider electric vehicles.

Duluth has 23 public charging station ports within 10 miles of downtown. This is a great start, as 56% of the ports offer free charges, but we can do more. A possible barrier to higher PEV adoption rates in Duluth could be the lack of DC fast charging (DCFC) stations. Only 5 of the 23 charging stations in Duluth are Level 3 DCFC stations. PEV’s are a critical part of our city GHG reduction strategy. As Duluth moves towards replacing electricity from coal with natural gas, to renewable sources, the fuel source for existing and new PEVs will become cleaner over time. By making charging stations part of the GHG reduction strategy for Duluth we can ensure cleaner air for generations to come.

Steps to increase PV charging stations could include:

  • Provide increased capital cost funding for new charging stations in parking lots.
  • Engage with utilities to encourage them to invest in charging stations throughout Duluth.
  • Incentivize utilities and developers to invest in charging at multi-family buildings.
  • Adopt building codes to make new and remodeled multi-family housing and commercial buildings PEV ready.

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