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‘Charge EV’ network to install more EV charging stations in Midwest

Published: Jan. 19, 2021 at 6:40 PM CST
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ROSHOLT, Wis. (WSAW) - If you’re the owner of an Electric Vehicle (EV), you’re probably aware of the lack of charging stations.

That’s why one local group is working to install more charging stations all across the Midwest.

Despite the environmental and cost benefits of electric vehicles, there’s a lot of anxiety for EV drivers right now due to the lack of EV charging stations nationwide.

“Electric vehicles have come a long way and they have more range than they’ve ever had before,” Central Wisconsin Electric Cooperative (CWEC) President and CEO Mike Wade said.

CWEC is teaming up with 29 other EV cooperatives to create a regional EV charging network called ‘Charge EV’ in the Midwest.

“We hope to be able to offer chargers to our members and the general public so that there are more charging stations in the Midwest,” Wade said.

Wade said their network is searching for vendors selling affordable chargers to have them more widely available right here in Wisconsin and neighboring states such as Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois.

“The more chargers we have on the road, especially fast chargers, I think that’s going to help with range anxiety that EV vehicle owners have,” Wade said.

Wade expects significant growth in electric vehicles over the next 10 years, so preparing now is key.

It’s CWEC’s hope that one day drivers can pull up to charging stations near and far to minimize gas emissions, and it’s as easy as pulling up to a charging station and plugging it in.

At places like Aspirus Hospital, they introduced their first electric vehicle to the company as part of an allegiance to reduce their carbon emissions footprint by 80% by 2030.

“We’re all really excited about the opportunity to transition our fleet,” Aspirus Hospital Sustainability Coordinator Jeanine Knapp said. “It’s fiscal responsibility, it’s an environmental health and it’s protecting public health so all three of those areas are spot on when we look at transitioning from internal combustion engines to alternative fuel.”

Knapp also said it’s Aspirus’s plan to get three to five electric vehicles per year with a total of 124.

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