Electric Vehicle Planning Study

An electric vehicle plugged in while parked along a sidewalk.Electric vehicles are not a distant daydream, they are a growing part of the transportation landscape. From cars on the roads to buses in the fleet, the Twin Cities region is embracing this technology.

Why study electric vehicles

 

Transportation emissions are the greatest contributor to greenhouse gases

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is just one benefit of electric vehicles. The study will also look at zero tailpipe emissions from battery-powered electric vehicles, improved air quality and reduced health impacts, contributions to state climate goals, value-added maintenance and fuel savings, and satisfied drivers.

The electric vehicle marketplace

There are significant commitments by large companies to electric vehicles. Several auto makers have announced that they will be phasing out gas powered cars by 2030/2035. In addition, companies that have large fleets of delivery trucks, or buses like our own Metro Transit, are also beginning the transition to electric. Power companies are also working toward the switch with infrastructure to support the growing demand.

Regional challenges need regional solutions

This study will identify policies and investments that can help build an electric vehicle charging network that makes sense across city borders. This effort will support communities and ensure a high quality of life for residents like the region’s other essential services and infrastructure — Metro Transit's bus and rail system, Metro Mobility, Transit Link, wastewater treatment services, regional parks, planning, affordable housing, highways and more.

Study goals

We are laying the groundwork for electrification by studying the technical background and supportive actions regional partners can take, the investment needed to build and run a charging system, the positive impacts on climate change and public health, and the hurdles we face in adopting the technology.

  • Identify strategies to accelerate electric vehicle adoption in the Twin Cities as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve public health.
  • Guide future investments, policies, and other work to accelerate electric vehicle adoption for the Met Council and partner agencies.
  • Inform the 2040 Transportation Policy Plan and other investment and policy proposals.

Timeline

The planned outcomes are scheduled to be completed by December of 2021.

Planned outcomes

  • White paper
  • Electric Vehicle Landscape
  • Data analysis on travel patterns, vehicles, public awareness
  • Fleet analysis
  • Use case identification and evaluation
  • Charging needs assessment for the Twin Cities
  • Strategies to help the Twin Cities scale electric vehicle adoption and improve public health
  • Equity analysis
  • Summary report and presentation

Related study

MnDOT has also started a project to create an Electric Vehicle Strategic Plan this year. There is alignment and intersection between the two projects, including tapping into the same consultant. In the interest of coordinating both projects and best using people’s time and expertise, staff have formed a joint Technical Advisory Committee. This committee will balance both work specific to one or the other project with worked shared by both, allowing members to attend where their contribution best fits.

Resources

Metro Transit electric buses — Metro Transit has been responsibly moving to greener operations since 2002 as one of the first adopters of hybrid-electric buses. A pilot program featured 60-foot electric buses on the METRO C Line, partially funded through a $1.75 million Federal Transit Administration Low/No Emission Grant.

MnDOT Sustainability and Public Health Electric Vehicles — MnDOT's 2017 Sustainability Report sets the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from Minnesota's transportation sector by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2025.

Drive Electric Minnesota is a partnership of Minnesota’s electric vehicle (EV) champions, dedicated to encouraging the deployment of EVs and the establishment of EV charging infrastructure through public-private partnerships, financial incentives, education, technical support and public policy.

Cities Charging Ahead! began with a peer cohort of 28 cities that worked together across Minnesota to explore electric vehicle readiness. A second cohort, formed in 2020, is continuing this work.

The EV Spot Network is a project being developed by the City of Saint Paul, City of Minneapolis, HOURCAR, and Xcel Energy to create a network of electric vehicle charging hubs throughout the Twin Cities and make electric vehicles publicly available through the Evie car-sharing service.

Contact

Tony Fischer
Metropolitan Council
Tony.Fischer@metc.state.mn.us