ST. PAUL, Minn. – Travelers on Interstate 94 heading north of St. Cloud will now see, “Electric Vehicle Charging Stations” signs along the highway to communicate the network of public, fast-charging EV stations for electric vehicles nearby.
The signs of the extended network of charging stations will continue to grow and is part of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) being implemented.
“MnDOT is excited to be a partner to promote and educate the public about zero emissions and the electric vehicle charging infrastructure,” said Charlie Zelle, Minnesota Department of Transportation commissioner. “We believe that alternate fuels and electric vehicles will be an important part of the future of transportation and can support progress towards the state’s GHG reduction targets”
The Federal Highway Administration selected I-94 from Port Huron, Mich., to the Minnesota/North Dakota border as one of 55 appointed routes in 2016 to advocate for alternative fuels and help drivers find vehicle charging stations nationwide.
This new network was created under the 2016 FAST Act and spans across 35 states, covering 85,000 miles. The alternative fuel corridors will be used to promote electric, hydrogen, propane and natural gas vehicles by encouraging development and progression of fueling and charging stations along the routes.
MnDOT, in a partnership with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, submitted an application to designate I-94 as an alternative fuel corridor, specifically known as a ‘Zero Emissions Corridor,’ to promote the electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
Once the designation was announced, MnDOT led coordination with state departments of transportation from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and the city of Detroit on a Memorandum of Understanding to re-brand this section of I-94 as the “Great Lakes Zero Emission Corridor.”
“The leading source of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions is transportation-related,” Zelle said. “We can reduce transportation emissions by supporting lower emission vehicles and alternative fuel corridors. By identifying where fueling stations can be found, we can increase the use of electric vehicles and improve air quality and meet the needs of current and future motorists.”
Photo courtesy of MnDOT