Prepared remarks delivered by Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey at the official launch of the EV Spot Network: EV Spot Charging and Evie Carshare.
I am so thrilled to be here with all of you celebrating the EV Spot Network and Evie Carshare Launch. This is a service that we believe will be in the beginning stages of transforming how our cities collectively work together on resiliency, on environmental sustainability and ultimately on transportation as well. This is worth a little bit of applause.
This effort was about partnership and, Mayor Carter, thank you so much for all the work, to the St. Paul and Minneapolis staff who did a tremendous amount of legwork to get this set up.
Thank you to Xcel Energy and HOURCAR to help us along with the vision and making sure the energy put into these cars, the electric, is not made through coal. To be clear, this is not just a for show electric vehicle, this is the real deal where we are making sure we are reducing our collective and individual carbon footprint with every single ride.
Mayor Carter and I just rode, I think, a collective distance of about 100 yards in total to get here, but that 100 yards was a sustainable one.
This partnership, right now, has about 70 cars in the fleet that are already in service and will get up to 100 hopefully by this fall. We are going to make sure that residents who don’t own their own cars have the ability to access transportation in an on-going and sustainable way.
Now, thanks to this EV Spot Network and Evie Carshare, 100% renewable electric vehicles will be on the road, ready for action, and to be used by a broad swath of the community.
This goes into a collective effort that we are working on right now in the Twin Cities. We’ve been announcing our American Rescue Act funding — and thank you so much to the United States Senator Tina Smith for your support in getting that funding and a huge part of that funding is going towards sustainability and resiliency in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
It’s going towards the Public Health Approach, making sure that communities that have been traditionally overburdened with the vast majority of pollution are not.
For example, we have invested 3 million dollars to eliminate childhood lead positioning by 2035. We are also investing 1 million dollars to expand our tree canopy in the major heat islands of our city and launching this particular EV Spot Network partnership alongside our partners in St. Paul and our many other climate initiatives are so critical to these communities.
This is just one of the reasons that this EV Spot Network covers a 35 square mile radius across the Twin Cities, with by the way, 70, strategically located charging stations that can be used both by these Evie cars that are run through as Mayor Carter mentioned, the municipality, but also if you have your own electric car as well, you can make sure to get charging there.
This is going to allow all residents greater access to our electric vehicle fleet for every single day activities, and by the way, this is affordable too.
We are talking about this monthly membership ranging from $0-30 to ensure that there is no income barrier.
And as Mayor Carter mentioned, we are not stopping here. This is just the beginning. We are going to be expanding on the number of charging stations, expanding on the number of vehicles in the fleet, because to be honest with you we don’t really have an option right now. Our environment is absolutely depending on it so I look forward to building on this success.
This is what partnership looks like, this is Minneapolis and St. Paul working together. This is us privately and publicly partnering with a number of different entities like HOURCAR and Xcel.
This is the wonderful work that we are partnering with our federal government and United States Senator Tina Smith who has helped make some of this funding possible.
This is a beautiful day in our Twin Cities and we are proud, so proud to be part of it. I have the honor now of introducing our United States Senator, Tina Smith, who was not only a big part in helping to get the funding to get programs like these setup but also in our American Rescue Act funding, which has been so critical, especially over this last year.