Redwood Falls is one of 18 Minnesota communities that will soon gain electric vehicle chargers from SMMPA. (Image courtesy Robotics and Automation News)

Sometime in the next year, Redwood Falls Public Utilities will  set up a DC Fast Charger and two dual-port level 2 chargers for electric vehicles (EVs).

It’s all part of the Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency’s (SMMPA) plan to establishing an EV charging network to help facilitate the transition to EVs in Greater Minnesota. SMMPA’s 18 city members will be installing the chargers in each of their communities by the end of 2020. 

SMMPA member utilities are currently identifying potential sites for the chargers. Chuck Heins, Redwood Falls Public Utililties Superintendent, said Monday the Public Utilities Commission is currently deciding on a site to set up the chargers. The Redwood Falls City Council will then have to approve the sites.

Since 90 percent of EV charging typically occurs in the owner’s garage at night, when electric demand is low, utilities can generally handle that load without additional generation. However, the lack of public charging stations in most communities is a major barrier to consumers making the switch because of “range anxiety” – the fear they may not be able to reach distant destinations. 

The DC Fast Chargers provide EV owners with a quick charge when they are traveling longer distances. The Level 2 chargers provide a charging option for EV owners while they are shopping, dining at a restaurant or conducting other business in town.