Minnesota Level 2 Electric Vehicle Charging Grant Now Open
January 3, 2023 | Katelyn Bocklund | Financing
On December 2, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency launched its next round of Level 2 electric vehicle charging station grants using funding from the Volkswagen settlement.
For a refresher on the Volkswagen settlement and how funds are being used in Minnesota, visit the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s website.
- Proposals are due by 4:30 p.m. CT on February 28, 2023.
- An informational meeting will be held on January 10, 2023, from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. CT. See the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s website for information about how to join.
- Applicants can receive $7,500 for a single-port station and $15,000 for dual-port stations, up to a maximum of $150,000. A 20 percent match must be provided for publicly accessible stations, and a 40 percent match must be provided for privately accessible stations.
- For-profit businesses, nonprofit organizations, multi-unit dwellings with a minimum of eight units, and public entities are eligible to apply.
Level 2 charger considerations
As entities begin working on applications, there are several things to consider before deciding on the right charger. Below is a list of the most common topics Drive Electric Minnesota has been asked about related to Level 2 chargers.
Level 2 charging stations provide anywhere from 6.6 to 19.2 kilowatts (kW) of electricity to charge an electric vehicle. The charger’s power output impacts how fast it will charge an electric vehicle, with 19.2 kW stations providing the fastest Level 2 charge. However, that is not the only factor that determines how fast a vehicle will charge.
Charge times are also impacted by how depleted the vehicle’s battery is in addition to its battery capacity, the maximum charge rate of the vehicle, and air temperature (batteries charge slower in extreme heat or cold).
Based on the current US EV Info List compiled by Shift2Electric (a Drive Electric Minnesota member), only one vehicle in today’s market—the Lucid Air—can take 19 kW. Most all-electric vehicles charge at a maximum rate of 11-11.5 kW, but that may increase as battery technology continues to improve in the future.
Level 2 charging stations can vary widely in the level of bells and whistles they provide. The most basic charging stations will lack the ability to track data, collect payments, and other useful features. Smart chargers, while more expensive, offer an array of features, many of which come standard with all chargers.
Per the Level 2 Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Request for Proposals requirements, applicants will need to install smart chargers. Additionally, chargers will need to include cord management systems.
Our Guide to Purchasing an EV Charging Station breaks down the most common features to consider.
Entities can apply to receive funding for publicly accessible or privately accessible Level 2 charging stations. Private access (i.e., workplaces, multi-unit dwellings, etc.) means that the stations are not open to the public.
For publicly accessible stations, applicants will want to consider current gaps in the charging network and where best to fill those gaps. Both PlugShare and the Alternative Fuels Data Center provide interactive maps with current and pending electric vehicle chargers, which can serve as helpful resources when identifying gaps in the network.
For a more comprehensive charging analysis, including suggestions to build charging out equitably, refer to Chapter 4: Charging of the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s 2021 Minnesota Electric Vehicle Assessment. According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s project selection methodologies for its Level 2 electric vehicle charging station grant, chargers that will be located within or near environmental justice areas will receive points.
Workplaces, multi-unit dwellings, and other entities looking to provide privately accessible charging stations will want to consider their prospective customer base along with nearby publicly accessible stations. Providing the ability to charge at work can make it more feasible for employees to adopt an electric vehicle, especially if they have a longer commute or live in a multi-unit dwelling without the ability to charge at home. Likewise, adding stations at multi-unit dwellings can make it more feasible for those residents to adopt an electric vehicle. In both cases, a great first step can be issuing a survey to prospective drivers to better understand transportation needs and whether adding electric vehicle chargers would be valuable.
Shift2Electric manages two websites with additional resources for workplace and multi-unit dwelling charging:
For both types of charger locations, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency will award more points for stations that will be located further away from existing stations, based on information provided in the Level 2 Electric Vehicle Charging Stations FY 2023 Methodologies.
One of the most common questions we get is whether to charge fees for drivers to use a Level 2 station. In many cases, the monthly costs required to collect fees will be greater than covering the cost of electricity used, especially if the utilization is low. The Great Plains Institute’s DC Fast Charging Calculator can help applicants estimate the potential revenue of a station. To use it for a Level 2 station, simply adjust the kW input to the appropriate amount and then modify the other inputs according to your situation.
Analysis by the Great Plains Institute has shown that charging an electric vehicle on Minnesota’s electric grid offers significant greenhouse gas reductions compared to driving a gasoline vehicle in Minnesota. Charging an electric vehicle with 100 percent renewable electricity offers even greater reductions. According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Level 2 electric vehicle charging station grant methodologies, stations with renewable energy will receive more points. Renewable energy can be provided through a utility program or by direct connection. Our Charging Electric Vehicles 101 web page provides additional information on charging an electric vehicle with renewable energy.
Charging Electric Vehicles 101
Our web page provides an overview of everything you need to know about electric vehicle charging, including charging speeds, plug standards, electric utility programs, and charging an electric vehicle with renewable energy.
Our three-part guide is designed to help public sites, fleets, and workplaces choose and purchase the right charging station, select a site, and install a station. While it won’t replace the need to have site-specific conversations with electric utilities or electricians, it will equip users with the necessary information to inform their decision-making process.
Developed as part of the US Department of Transportation’s ROUTES initiative, Charging Forward: A Toolkit for Planning and Funding Rural Electric Mobility Infrastructure provides rural communities with a resource tailored to their unique needs. Any rural stakeholder can use the toolkit for tips needed to plan and install electric vehicle chargers in rural areas.