On Friday, May 19, 2022, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Granholm announced funding for “Community-Driven Electric Vehicle Charging Deployment in Underserved Communities” in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Highlighting Evie Community Carshare service, part of the EV Spot Network, Secretary Granholm noted the unique community-based approach taken to address clean and sustainable transportation in neighborhoods across Saint Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota.
“…the charging companies, because they’re private sector, they’re going to put their stations where there is a big concentration of electric vehicles, so poor communities, rural communities get left out.” stated Secretary Granholm.
When talking about Evie Carshare, City of Saint Paul Mayor Carter added “Evie is the only municipally-owned, 100% electric, 100% renewably-powered carshare program in the United States… It really felt like a moonshot when we first started talking about this.”
Low-income and majority BIPOC neighborhoods suffer from the worst air quality in the State of Minnesota; the top greenhouse gas contributor is the personally-owned automobile. As a response to this, in 2019, HOURCAR partnered with 10 community-based organizations and residents to identify needs of residents and bring forth clean, sustainable transportation (findings are identified in our Community Engagement Report). This community feedback helped to shape Evie Carshare. In 2021, Payne-Phalen Community Council and Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association partnered with HOURCAR for the first EJCPS grant, allowing for two Environmental Justice Community Coordinators to be selected to further work with residents and bring more awareness of clean transportation options in each city.
In this round of grants, HOURCAR was approved to receive funds for its work in under-resourced communities. Later this year, HOURCAR will continue our approach to expand deeper into low-income and majority BIPOC communities. In 2024, Evie will be adding an additional 45 electric vehicles to the fleet of 170 free-floating vehicles.