Three electric car charging stations added in downtown Minneapolis parking ramp

The publicly owned Jerry Haaf Memorial Ramp now has three solar-powered charging stations for electric car drivers visiting or commuting to downtown Minneapolis. Drivers can find them near the exit booth; they can just pull up and plug in. The stations are available first-come, first-served. Parking rates apply, but currently the charging does not cost extra. The ramp is at 424 Fourth St. S., available to the public and open 24 hours a day.

These chargers are part of the ChargePoint network, which includes an interactive map to find available charging stations across the country online or with smartphone applications. Users access the charging station with a card from ChargePoint, with a smart (contact-free) credit card or by calling the number displayed on the charging station.

Electric cars are quiet, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, have fewer moving parts (read: require less maintenance) than gasoline cars and typically cost about 2 to 3 cents per mile for their electricity. The new technology is an opportunity for new green jobs in the region. Electric cars typically look the same as internal combustion engine cars, so unless they have a wrap or special markings, the only way to recognize one is by seeing it plugged in or noticing that there is no tailpipe.

A grant from the Minnesota Department of Commerce Division of Energy Resources paid for the three charging stations.

Published Aug 16, 2012