Electric Cooperatives Create CHARGE EV
Regional electric vehicle charging network will alleviate range anxiety, encourage EV adoption
Central Wisconsin Electric Cooperative (CWEC) is one of 29 electric co-ops who have joined together to create a regional electric vehicle (EV) charging network across Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota named CHARGE EV, LLC. The network includes more than 30 Level 2 and Level 3 charging stations.
“We are excited about being part of the CHARGE EV network with our fellow electric cooperatives in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, and Iowa,” said Mike Wade, president and CEO of Central Wisconsin Electric Cooperative. “As the sale of electric vehicles increases, we want to ensure that drivers have adequate charging locations as they travel in Wisconsin and the upper Midwest.”
The group of co-ops is planning for future growth in EVs, and wants to alleviate “range anxiety,” which is the concern some people have about traveling in an EV without a place to charge their vehicle.
"Our goal is to provide EV owners peace of mind driving from Iowa to northern Wisconsin, or from Minnesota to Illinois, knowing there are co-op powered chargers along their route. That will give people confidence to consider an EV and encourage growth in the EV market," said Jeff Springer, manager of Innovation and Efficient Electrification at Dairyland Power Cooperative located in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
The CHARGE EV infrastructure is just the start as the group plans for additional investments in the EV market including member education on installing home chargers and encouraging members to test drive EVs.
CWEC’s support of electric vehicles began in 2019 when it installed a Level 2 electric vehicle charging station at its Rosholt headquarters for the public to use. Also, in 2019, CWEC purchased a Chevrolet Bolt to help educate its members and surrounding communities about electric vehicles. The Bolt is a 100% electric vehicle.
“The age of electric vehicles is dawning and CHARGE EV is a great example of the support electric cooperatives provide the rural communities we serve,” Wade said.
Charger locations and other information can be found at www.charge.coop.
Participating Electric Cooperatives
Adams-Columbia Electric Cooperative, Friendship, Wis.
Allamakee-Clayton Electric Cooperative Inc., Postville, Iowa
Barron Electric Cooperative, Barron, Wis.
Bayfield Electric Cooperative, Iron River, Wis.
Central Wisconsin Electric Cooperative, Rosholt, Wis.
Chippewa Valley Electric Cooperative, Cornell, Wis.
Clark Electric Cooperative, Greenwood, Wis.
Dairyland Power Cooperative, La Crosse, Wis.
Dunn Energy Cooperative, Menomonie, Wis.
East Central Energy, Braham, Minn.
Eau Claire Energy Cooperative, Fall Creek, Wis.
Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services, Albert Lea, Minn.
Heartland Power Cooperative, Thompson, Iowa
Jackson Electric Cooperative, Black River Falls, Wis.
Jo-Carroll Energy, Elizabeth, Ill.
Jump River Electric Cooperative, Ladysmith, Wis.
MiEnergy Cooperative, Rushford, Minn.
Oakdale Electric Cooperative, Oakdale, Wis.
Oconto Electric Cooperative, Oconto Falls, Wis.
People’s Energy Cooperative, Oronoco, Minn.
Pierce Pepin Electric Cooperative, Ellsworth, Wis.
Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative, Centuria, Wis.
Price Electric Cooperative, Phillips, Wis.
Richland Electric Cooperative, Richland Center, Wis.
Riverland Electric Cooperative, Arcadia, Wis.
Rock Energy Cooperative, Janesville, Wis.
Scenic Rivers Energy Cooperative, Lancaster, Wis.
St. Croix Electric Cooperative, Hammond, Wis.
Taylor Electric Cooperative, Medford, Wis.
Vernon Electric Cooperative, Westby, Wis.
Washington Island Electric Cooperative, Washington Island, Wis.