Thanks to settlement money from a court case involving fraudulent diesel emission tests at Volkswagen, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency was able to award grant funding to ZEF Energy to build 22 electric vehicle charging stations throughout the state.

Nine cities will receive a new 50 kW fast-charging station within the next year, including Detroit Lakes, Willmar, Marshall, Bemidji, Grand Rapids, Rochester, Mankato and St. Cloud. The high-speed charger can kick out 250 miles of drive time in an hour, but also has a slower 240-volt charger that provides 25 miles of drive time in an hour. An even faster charging station will be erected in Albert Lea to serve traffic on both I-90 and I-35.

One goal of the project is to make Highway 10 an electric-car friendly corridor from Moorhead to the Twin Cities. The grant requires charging stations to be built right off the highway corridor they serve, and to be close to tourism destinations such as restaurants and retail stores.

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