FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 13, 2019
Contact: Ben Findlay
SAINT PAUL (Feb. 13, 2019) — The City of Saint Paul has been awarded funding to launch a new Twin Cities electric carsharing service by as early as 2020.
The Transportation Advisory Board of the Metropolitan Council voted unanimously to approve a request from the City of Saint Paul, in partnership with HOURCAR and Xcel Energy, for $4 million in funding for the EV Community Mobility project at a January 16, 2019 meeting. The federal grant matches $4 million previously committed by Xcel Energy to fund the project. The City of Minneapolis also provided a letter of support for the application.
The proposed fleet of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) will be supported by a network of mobility hubs with charging infrastructure. The mobility hubs will serve a 35 square-mile service area in the Twin Cities. At most points within the service area, people will be within 0.3 miles (approximately a five-minute walk) from a mobility hub. The service will support both one-way and two-way trips throughout the metro area, and charging stations will be open for public use.
“Expanding access to electric vehicle transportation will help create a more connected Saint Paul,” said Mayor Melvin Carter. “This partnership with HOURCAR, Xcel Energy, and the City of Minneapolis will significantly boost our work to build a sustainable future for our children.”
“Transitioning to a fleet of electric vehicles is the next step in the evolution of HOURCAR and our service commitment to our community,” said Paul Schroeder, CEO of HOURCAR. “This project does not just benefit HOURCAR members. By reducing vehicle emissions and congestion, this project will create healthy and connected neighborhoods in our region and reinforce the Twin Cities’ leadership in sustainable transit and shared mobility. We are grateful to the City of Saint Paul, the City of Minneapolis, Xcel Energy and all our partners on this project for their vision and support.”
“Xcel Energy is excited to partner with HOURCAR and the cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis on this transformative car sharing project,” said Chris Clark, president, Xcel Energy-Minnesota. “We have a long-term clean energy plan that includes helping the transportation industry go electric and this partnership helps ensure that an electric vehicle future will benefit all customers, the environment, and the electric grid we rely upon.”
The grant funding comes through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program. The program provides flexible funding to state and local governments for transportation projects that improve air quality and reduce congestion.
In October 2018 Bloomberg Philanthropies announced both Saint Paul and Minneapolis as winners in the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge. Both cities were awarded $2.5 million each to continue efforts to combat climate change and promote a sustainable future. Both Minneapolis and Saint Paul announced goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 to 100 percent by the year 2050.
About HOURCAR: HOURCAR delivers affordable, accessible, and sustainable shared mobility choices. HOURCAR is the Twin Cities’ original nonprofit carsharing company and has been serving the area since 2005. Originally a program of the Neighborhood Energy Connection, HOURCAR became an independent, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in June of 2017. To learn more about HOURCAR, visit https://rochesterhc.wpengine.com/ or follow on Twitter and Facebook.