Twin Cities Celebrate EV Car Sharing While Statewide Adoption Struggles
(The Center Square) – St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said the Twin Cities’ Evie Carshare, an all-electric fleet of shared electric vehicles, is a success.
Since its launch in February 2022, residents have used Evie Carshare to make 150,000+ trips.
Evie Carshare users have logged 1.5 million zero-emission miles. The company says service to low-income communities and communities of color accounted for 42% and 37% of total users, respectively.
“Evie has been an innovative, invaluable community asset since we first began this partnership,” Carter said in a statement. “These significant milestones emphasize how Evie is helping Saint Paulites get where they need to go, whether it's to get to work, to visit family or even just to grab a cup of coffee.”
The company has 170 carshare vehicles operating in a 35-square-mile home area, where one can pick up and leave an Evie Carshare vehicle. The program also operates in Minneapolis.
“Electric vehicles are the future and the continued success of this carshare program is evidence of that,” Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said in a statement. “By embracing electric vehicles, Minneapolis is improving mobility options for residents, reducing emissions, and leading the way toward a greener, smarter, and more sustainable future for generations to come. We’re so grateful to have the EV Spot Network program in the Twin Cities and look forward to our continued partnership with them.”
While city leaders say the local service is a success, Minnesota’s overall EV adoption has been slow.
Illinois leads with nearly 80,000 EVs, while Minnesota has 41,417 and Michigan has 34,380. Minnesota enacted a $10M subsidy program for EVs with no start date. The most significant barriers to EV adoption are a higher upfront cost, range anxiety, and a limited charging network.
In his 2024 proposed budget, Frey allocated $730,000 to expand the EV stations, while leveraging an additional $2-3 million in federal funds to support electric vehicles and carbon emission reduction.
The cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis own the Evie Carshare service and the EV Spot Network charging stations through a partnership operated by local nonprofit HOURCAR.
Evie Carshare and the EV Spot Network provide transportation solutions. With a growing fleet of 170 electric vehicles in the Twin Cities, Evie Carshare is America’s largest municipally owned 100% renewably powered, all-electric, free-floating carshare service.
“Saint Paul is leading the way in the fight against climate change through our innovative programs and partnerships,” Chief Resilience Officer Russ Stark said in a statement. “Through implementing creative solutions, such as this all-electric carshare fleet, Saint Paul is building a city that is resilient and meets the needs of our community.”
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