Beginning this month, e-vehicle (EV) drivers will be able to charge their cars at Polk-Burnett's new charging station between Midwest One Bank and Marketplace Foods on Hwy. 8 in St. Croix Falls. The charging station is free for the public.
"Our goal is to promote EVs by providing a charger in our service territory where the public can readily access it," said Todd Schulte, member services manager.
In a national survey by Touchstone Energy, about 12% of co-op members across the country said it's very or somewhat likely that their next car will either be an EV or plug-in hybrid.
"EVs are a hot topic right now," said Schulte. "We have the opportunity to help change the future of transportation. Offering convenient access to charging will help members transition to EVs."
Polk-Burnett also offer incentives for charging EVs at home through our EnergySense rebate program, including a $350 charger rebate (increased to $400 for 2020) and a discounted off-peak electricity rate for charging during off-peak times, when demand and cost are lower.
Electrifying transportation improves the environment
Moving from gas to electricity reduces pollution, and the gap improves as the electric grid gets greener. When EVs are powered by wind or solar, they have zero emissions.
Level 2 charging station
The Level 2, 240-volt charging station provides about 20 to 25 miles of battery range for every hour the vehicle is plugged in.
"We don't expect people to fully charge their EVs at Marketplace, but they can top off their charge with enough power to get back home after a trip to the bank or grocery store," said Schulte.
St. Croix Falls is our first charging station
Marketplace Foods is an ideal location for our first charging station because it's a high-traffic commercial area on a major highway. EV drivers can conveniently charge their cars while traveling on Hwy. 8 or visiting local businesses.
Polk-Burnett will cover all installation, signage, maintenance and operation costs for the charging station.
If this pilot site does well, the co-op will add EV charging locations in our service territory.
Installing chargers on major highways helps alleviate range anxiety. The distance between destinations in rural areas is a common reason why many co-op members hesitate to own an EV. We're collaborating with our wholesale power provider, Dairyland Power Cooperative, and other local electric cooperatives to ensure new technology is not limited to more densely populated metropolitan areas.