The city of St. Paul, Minn., working in partnership with the nonprofit carsharing service Hourcar and Xcel Energy, has applied for federal grant funding to launch a new battery-electric carsharing service in the Twin Cities.
The city council approved sponsorship of the application July 11, and the application for funding was submitted Friday. The city of Minneapolis also provided a letter of support for the application.
The proposed new service line envisions a fleet of 150 battery-electric vehicles, supported by a network of 70 mobility hubs with charging infrastructure. The proposed mobility hubs will be structured around a 0.6 mile grid within a 35 square-mile service area in the metropolitan area. At most points within the service area, users would be within 0.3 miles (approximately a five-minute walk) from a mobility hub. The service is intended to be used for both one-way and two-way trips throughout the metro area.
The grant application is for federal funding through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program. The program provides flexible funding to state and local governments for transportation projects that approve air quality and reduce congestion on the country’s roads and highways.
If St. Paul is awarded the grant, the new EV service could be available as early as 2020.