Rhonda Silence

City tracking the use of its electric vehicle charging stations

Electric vehicle charging stations went online at the end of June in the City of Grand Marais. How much use have these stations received? WTIP’s Rhonda Silence checked in with Shane Steele, the sustainability coordinator for the City of Grand Marais to find out.

Steele tells WTIP that the city currently has two “level 2” stations and one “DC fast” charging station. The level two station can charge two cars at once and would typically charge an electric vehicle (EV) in the range of three to five hours.

One of level two stations is at city hall, along with the DC fast charging station. The other level two charging station is at the Grand Marais Recreation Park, in the parking area where the swimming pool used to be.

There are other EV charging stations in the county—one at Bearskin Lodge on the Gunflint Trail; at Arrowhead Cooperative, Clearview General Store, Lutsen Mountains, and Lutsen Resort in Lutsen, and one at Bluefin Bay Resort in Tofte and at Grand Portage Lodge and Casino. Locations of EV charging stations can be found on PlugShare.com and similar applications.

The city-owned EV charging stations were installed by the city’s power provider, the Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA), so there were no initial costs for city taxpayers or utility customers.

Sustainability Coordinator Steele is able to track use of the charging stations and fees collected. He said between the time the charging stations went online on June 26 and the end of July, there were 163 charging sessions that collected $838 in fees.

Steele explained that the fees cover the cost of the electricity used by EV station users.

WTIP’s Rhonda Silence learns more about the city’s electric vehicle charging stations in this interview.