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Letter: We need more plug-ins for electric cars in Detroit Lakes

Plug-in electric vehicles are getting more common and affordable. They can make a lot of sense economically, depending on your driving habits, as well as environmentally. The recent advances in technology are putting some models ranges up around 300 miles or better on a charge. Typically, EV Drivers charge their vehicles at home overnight, and try to locate charging stations when planning longer range trips. Unfortunately, at this time there are not a whole lot of public charging stations available in the Detroit Lakes area.

Minnesota has plenty of catching up to do. In Norway in 2018, almost a third of all vehicle sales were for pure electric vehicles. In 2009, China adopted a plan to become a global leader in producing EVs, and they're on track to sell two million in 2019.

Back here at home in the US, we have approximately 1.1 million EVs, with a big sales increase over 2017 — but only about 6,000 in Minnesota.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation has a goal to massively expand our clean vehicle ownership by 2030. Xcel Energy, which serves a large portion of southern Minnesota, is pushing EV use through incentives for vehicles themselves as well as the infrastructure they depend on.

The Detroit Lakes area is one of the most beautiful places in the world, with some of the cleanest air and water. As EVs become more popular, there is an increasing need to have clean car charging stations strategically located along our travel corridors. The legislature is considering providing some of the money needed, via the Department of Transportation — but right now, the Senate budgets only provide this infrastructure funding for the Twin Cities area.

Please let your representative know that we need them to support strategically installing charging stations along the corridors in our area. And, if you are a business owner and have (or might soon) have a charging station available for the public, please consider registering it so people know it is available.— Bernie Meyer, Rochert

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