The cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis have joined up to develop an all-electric car-sharing network, which will be managed by the charity HourCar.
Evie Carshare offers 171 vehicles parked in 70 “EV Spots,” which may be accessible through a range of monthly plans suited to daily, long-distance, student, low-income, or occasional customers.
Evie will be the first municipally-owned car-sharing network in the US to run entirely on renewable energy, according to St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter. As part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ “American Cities Climate Challenge,” Carter’s office took the lead in building the network.
The goal is to reduce carbon emissions by persuading more inhabitants to abandon the family automobile in favor of walking, bicycling, or taking public transportation, knowing that they would still have access to a car when necessary.
On Friday, Carter joined Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, U.S. Senator Tina Smith, and other officials at the downtown St. Paul Union Depot to unveil the $12.75 million network, which was funded by both cities, the US Department of Transportation, the US Department of Energy, Xcel Energy, and the Metropolitan Council.
According to Russ Stark, Carter’s chief resilience officer, half of the car-sharing stations are in areas of color, and the majority are near transit lines. This covers ten areas where car-sharing was previously unavailable.
The 70 EV Spots will contain charge stations for Evie and personal vehicles, as well as rapid charging at 12 places, the majority of which will be near highway exits to allow longer travels.
Climate action, Smith argued, was long overdue, given the mounting implications of climate change on the environment, the economy, and everyday life. “This effort is laying the groundwork for a clean and green economy,” she explained. “We are, in fact, in the middle of a climatic catastrophe that threatens our economy…our way of life.”
“We’re going to grow the number of charging stations, the number of vehicles in the fleet,” Frey explained, “because to be honest, we don’t really have an alternative right now.”
EVSpotNetwork.org provides more information.