How to Use Drive Electric Minnesota’s Electric Vehicle Incentives Database
December 21, 2023 | Chloe Carstensen | Education
Drive Electric Minnesota manages an online Electric Vehicle Incentive Database that classifies different electric vehicle incentives to make finding and filtering funding opportunities easier.
The database aims to connect users to incentives that reduce the upfront costs when purchasing an electric vehicle or installing an electric vehicle charger. It includes incentives offered by federal and state agencies, utilities, nonprofits, and public-private partnerships. All current and prospective electric vehicle owners, fleet managers, building managers, local, regional, and state agencies, and more will benefit from using the database.
This blog post will inform prospective users how to use the database, which is displayed via the online data management platform Airtable. For a more descriptive overview, download the Electric Vehicle Incentives Database User Guide or watch our release webinar that explains how to use the database.
Electric Vehicle Incentives Database Airtable terminology:
- Field: a column that places a category on the information
- Record: a row which includes information from all fields
Currently, the Electric Vehicle Incentives Database has 10 fields: Name, Deadline, Amount, Eligibility, Description, Link, Geography, Category, Type, and Last Updated.
Figure 1. Full view of the Electric Vehicle Incentives Database
Viewing incentives in the Electric Vehicle Incentives Database
There are two ways to view incentives in the database—in the grid (Grouped View) and expanded. To expand a single record, hover your mouse over the incentive and click on the blue arrow icon on the left of the name.
Figure 2. Blue arrow icon
A pop-up box will appear and display the selected incentive and the information from each field.
Finding incentives in the Electric Vehicle Incentives Database
Hide fields: Hiding fields allow you to remove a selected field from the view. Click on the Hide Fields icon on the toolbar, prompting a drop-down menu with the different fields. You can then select the different fields you would like to hide. The selected field(s) will then disappear from the table.
Filter: Filtering allows you to sift through different incentives based on selected criteria. You can use the filtering tool to search for incentives based on specified criteria in the selected field, and multiple filters can be applied at once. To filter incentives, click on Filter on the toolbar, then + Add condition to create a filter. A filtered field will be highlighted in green.
Group: This tool groups records based on one or more selected fields. The Electric Vehicle Incentives Database is already grouped by Category, but you can add subgroupings. To use the grouping tool, click on Grouped by 1 field on the toolbar to add a subgrouping and then select the field you wish to group. The groupings appear as drop-down menus that can be collapsed and expanded.
Sort: Sorting arranges fields alphabetically, in numeric order, or from first to last, depending on the selected field. Multiple fields can be sorted, but the most practical fields to sort are Name, Deadline, and Amount. To sort, click on Sort and select a field to sort. Alternatively, click on the field header, which will display a drop-down menu, and then click on a sorting option. A sorted field will be highlighted in orange.
Other features of Airtable
Adjusting row height: You can adjust the row (or record) height in Airtable to increase the viewability of text in the record. The different options are Short, Medium, Tall, and Extra Tall. To adjust the row height, click on the icon with a bidirectional arrow and three horizontal lines, and then click on the desired height.
Downloading or printing the Airtable: Airtable is not screen-reader friendly, but you can download or print the table to use with screen readers. You can download or print the table by clicking on the icon with three dots and selecting an option from the drop-down menu.
Examples from the Electric Vehicle Incentives Database
The following examples demonstrate how to use the database using possible real-life scenarios. Step-by-step instructions follow a general description of the example.
A Rochester resident switching to electric
A resident living in a single-family home in Rochester, Minnesota, is looking for incentives. Figure 2 shows the results.
- Filter by fields Eligibility and Geography. Select Individuals under Eligibility and Southeast under Geography.
- Add a subgrouping under the field, Type.
- Sort by field Amount to view the incentives from lowest to highest.
- Sort by field Deadline to see which incentives are due soon.
Figure 3. The resulting view of the Electric Vehicle Incentives Database filtered for an individual residing in Rochester
Electrifying a fleet in Otter Tail County
A business in Otter Tail County, Minnesota, is looking for incentives to reduce the purchase price of electric fleet vehicles and chargers. Figure 3 shows the results.
- Filter by fields Eligibility and Geography. Select Businesses under Eligibility and Central and Statewide under Geography.
- Sort by field Deadline to organize the due dates by most recent.
Figure 4. The resulting view of the Electric Vehicle Incentives Database filtered for a business located in Otter Tail County
Building manager looking to add electric vehicle chargers
A building manager for a multifamily dwelling in the Twin Cities area is looking for an incentive for electric vehicle chargers to install for their tenants. Figure 4 shows the results.
- Filter by fields Eligibility and Geography. Select Multifamily buildings under Eligibility and Statewide and Metro under Geography.
- Sort by field Deadline to see which incentive applications are due first.
- Sort by field Amount to view the incentives from lowest to highest amount.
- Collapse the Electric vehicle incentive grouping.
Figure 5. The resulting view of the Electric Vehicle Incentives Database filtered for a building manager wishing to add electric vehicle chargers
The database is meant to help you find incentives, so please use the tips to make your user experience easier. There are over 100 incentives in the database, so chances are there is an incentive applicable to you!
If there are any incentives missing, please fill out the Electric Vehicle Incentives Database Addition form. Let us know if there is something we could improve by emailing us at [email protected].