Carbon Reduction & Clean Energy | Recharge America

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Electric Vehicles Awareness & Adoption in Rural Minnesota

Recharge Minnesota aims to accelerate Electric Vehicle (EV) adoption in Minnesota, while simultaneously utilizing local businesses to expand the necessary infrastructure, resulting in energy dollars remaining within the region. For over a decade, the Olseth Family Foundation has supported the vision of Recharge Minnesota and its parent organization, Recharge America, for expanding low-carbon transportation.  

One key area of the Foundation’s support has been non-metro, rural EV expositions. These unique trade fairs are often the host community’s first introduction to this technology. The goal is to build an annual “Recharge” initiative from the ground up that fosters EV adoption and awareness. Each event captures the full “electric ecosystem” by creating a space to explore a variety of hands-on experiences. Such experiences include test-driving the latest EV models, interacting with charging options, trying electric bikes, and viewing other forms of electric mobility, while learning from industry experts and local EV owners about the benefits of driving electric. 

The success of Recharge’s EV expositions has come from collaboration. Recharge works closely with municipal city leaders, community foundations, and economic development groups to ensure that the community’s future EV requirements will be met, while keeping energy dollars local, and encouraging local EV workforce development.

Each EV Test Drive Benefits Local Non-Profits 

To help build event awareness and attendance, a donation to a locally chosen non-profit is made for each specified engagement tactic. For example, Mankato, Northfield, and St. Cloud, Minnesota provided funding to several student and community organizations for each EV test drive. We are pleased to share that over the past three years, the total donations to those three communities by Recharge America and their many supporters have exceeded $25,000.  

Recharge Minnesota, with the Foundation’s support, also offers a recognition program, which is aimed at publicly recognizing companies and organizations that take specific steps to encourage EV adoption throughout the state. Program participants include private and public companies and organizations, higher education institutions, municipalities, and other community-leading entities. Participants form a network of leaders who are on the same clean transportation journey – sharing best practices and lessons learned along the way. Each organization is publicly acknowledged for its efforts throughout the year and during an annual recognition ceremony

Participation benefits include:

  • Peer-to-Peer Learning
    • Participants are provided with the most current information on industry news, incentives, and organizational resources.
  • Recognition
    • Participants are given opportunities share lessons learned, challenges, and best practices.
  • EV Program Support
    • Participants receive leadership acknowledgement throughout the year, as well as commendation for their efforts during the annual recognition ceremony.

Upcoming Recharge Minnesota Events:

March 22, 2023 –Mobilizing Minnesota, Mankato State University, Mankato, MN

Mobilizing Minnesota Symposium. You can find information for those events on our website, To stay up to date as we schedule other events throughout Minnesota, follow us on social media!

May 6, 2023 – Recharge Albert Lea 

August 5, 2023 – Recharge Elk River 

Albert Lea Tribune, March 2, 2023