Evie Carshare has launched its electric carsharing service in St. Paul and Minneapolis on Feb 2 through a public-private partnership with Xcel Energy, a carshare fleet leased by the City of Saint Paul, and Evie Carshare operated by non-profit Hourcar.
The Cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis also launched the EV Spot Network, a system of 100% renewably powered on-street EV spots that can be used to charge both private electric vehicles
To start, Evie will offer a fleet of 171 electric vehicles. A free-floating carshare service, Evie vehicles only need to be parked within a designated neighborhood radius – in any approved parking spot or at an Evie charging station. The vehicles need to be rented and returned within the 35-square-mile home area, but drivers can venture outside of the home area during the rental time.
Evie provides one-way rentals by the minute, hour, or day, according to the report. Users can rent an electric vehicle through a mobile app or a Metro Transit card.
“The whole program was designed around increasing electric vehicle access and equity,” James Vierling, spokesman for Hourcar carsharing service, which is partnering with the Twin Cities and Xcel Energy to launch Evie, told Twin Cities Business (TCB) Magazine. “You’ll see a lot of the Evie charging spots in low-income neighborhoods, communities of color, and other places where electric vehicle infrastructure may lag.”
Evie plans to roll out 70 electric charging stations, each with four parking spots, throughout the Twin Cities. For a fee, non-Evie electric car owners can also use the charging stations.
By the time all 70 EV locations are installed and activated, it will increase the number of public charging ports in the Twin Cities by 50%, an announcement stated.
“People can go ahead and charge up their electric car or buy one and not have to look at the cost of installing a charger into their rental unit or personal garage,” said Vierling.
The EV Spot Network is a response to a growing need for public charging infrastructure to support electric vehicle owners who cannot charge at home, drivers who need to charge during the day, and commuters and visitors, the announcement added. The investment in EV technology will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, combat climate change, increase reliance on renewable energy, and make the air quality cleaner.