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Owning an EV in Minnesota: Charging Cost, Incentives, and More

So you‘re considering an electric vehicle in Minnesota? With the state‘s cold winters and long distances between charging stations, you may be wondering if an EV is truly right for you. Not to worry – Minnesota has come a long way in recent years to become much more EV-friendly!

Let‘s explore everything you need to know about owning an electric car in Minnesota – from charging options and costs to winter driving and incentives. By the end, you‘ll have all the information you need to decide if an EV is a smart choice.

Charging Networks Expand across Minnesota

For EVs to succeed here, Minnesota needs charging stations – and lots of them! The good news is that there are now over 3,200 public charging ports available statewide, with hundreds more being added annually.

Major highways across Minnesota like Interstates 35, 90, and 94 now have DC fast charging stations every 50 miles or less. This allows EV drivers to take road trips without range anxiety. Here are some key facts about Minnesota‘s growing charging network:

  • Over 25% of Minnesota‘s public chargers are free to use, according to data from the Department of Energy.

  • The newest chargers being installed under the NEVI program can charge an EV battery to 80% in just 20-40 minutes.

  • The MPCA has directed over $5 million specifically towards fast charger installations since 2019.

  • By 2023, a charger will be available within 30 miles of 95% of Minnesota households, per MPCA projections.

Thanks to forward-thinking investments, you‘ll now find public charging options in most parts of Minnesota. But for daily charging, nothing beats plugging in at home.

Home Charging Saves Money

Installing a home charger is the most convenient and affordable way to keep your EV powered up in Minnesota. Here are some home charging basics:

  • A Level 2 charger (240V) provides about 25 miles of range per hour of charging, depending on your EV model. This fully charges most EVs overnight.

  • Home installation costs typically range from $500-$1500 before any rebates, with most EV buyers spending about $1,000 according to EnergySage data.

  • Xcel Energy offers a $500 rebate on home charger installation, cutting your costs significantly.

  • Charging rates in Minnesota average just $0.14/kWh. So a full charge costs only $10-$15 for most EVs. That‘s over 6X cheaper than gas!

I recommend getting a quote from a certified electrician to install a 240V outlet in your garage. The investment will pay off fast through years of inexpensive home charging.

Public Charging Fills in Gaps

While most charging happens at home, public stations allow you to charge up on the go. Here‘s a look at those options:

  • Minnesota has over 500 DC fast charging ports located along major highways to enable longer trips.

  • Over 1,500 Level 2 public chargers are spread across shopping centers, restaurants, hotels, and tourist sites statewide.

  • Charging rates range from free to around $0.35/kWh, with costs typically lower than gas. Apps like EVMatch also let you access home chargers.

  • Major networks like ChargePoint, EVGo, and SemaConnect operate the majority of Minnesota‘s public stations. Their apps make charging simple.

  • By 2025, 95% of Minnesotans should have a public station within 15 miles according to state targets.

Public charging provides flexibility, especially for renters, apartment dwellers, and those without home charging access. But costs add up quicker than charging at home, so utilize free stations when possible.

EV Ownership Costs in Minnesota

Let‘s break down what you can expect to spend on an electric vehicle in Minnesota:

Vehicle Purchase Price

  • Upfront prices span from $25,000 for the Chevy Bolt to $120,000+ for luxury EVs like the Mercedes EQS.

  • The average price for a new EV under $55,000 in 2022 was $42,500 according to Recurrent Auto data.

  • Falling battery prices are quickly closing the cost gap between EVs and gas cars.

Home Charging Cost

  • Based on Minnesota‘s residential electric rate of $0.14/kWh, charging a 60 kWh EV battery from empty costs just $8.40.

  • For a driver averaging 30 miles per day, I estimate yearly home charging costs of $300 or less.

Public Charging Cost

  • With public rates of $0.25-$0.35/kWh, a full charge for a 300 mile EV runs $25-$35.

  • Drivers relying more on public charging can expect to spend $100+ monthly. Apps like EVMatch can help find cheaper charging options.

Maintenance Costs

  • EVs have far fewer mechanical parts than gas cars, reducing maintenance needs.

  • Typical annual service costs are around $250 for tire rotations, fluid flushes, etc according to Consumer Reports.

  • Battery replacements under warranty are extremely rare. EVs are built for long-lasting batteries.

As you can see, factors like home charging and lower maintenance help reduce total ownership costs for an EV versus gas-powered models.

Incentives Bring Down EV Costs

Minnesota currently lacks statewide purchase incentives, but utilities and some local groups offer rebates:

  • Xcel Energy provides rebates up to $500 on Level 2 home charger installations, cutting your costs.

  • Great River Energy and other co-ops also offer up to $500 back for installing residential charging.

  • The MPCA has grant funding covering 80% of public fast charger installations, expanding Minnesota‘s network.

  • Some cities like Minneapolis give EV drivers discounted parking rates and access to HOV lanes.

Federal tax credits also remain available:

  • You can claim $7,500 back on your taxes when purchasing a new EV in 2023. Credits start phasing out once an automaker sells over 200,000 EVs.

  • Leasing an EV also qualifies you for the full $7,500 tax incentive.

I recommend checking with your utility, city, and the federal government to maximize incentives when going electric. Every bit helps cut costs!

Driving EVs in Minnesota‘s Colder Weather

Minnesota winters can be harsh. But modern EVs perform remarkably well year-round when you take a few cold weather precautions:

  • Keep the EV plugged in when parked to prevent the battery temperature from dropping.

  • Expect around a 30% reduction in mileage from estimated range in extreme cold.

  • Precondition the EV cabin and battery while still plugged in to reduce power draw while driving.

  • Slow acceleration and maintain steady highway speeds to maximize range.

  • Add winter tires for maximum snow and ice traction – EVs handle great thanks to the heavy battery weight over the rear wheels.

  • Recharge more frequently if relying on public charging to prevent getting stranded.

  • Park in garages or carports rather than outside when possible.

While range takes a hit, the conveniences of home charging, battery preconditioning, and winter tires will keep you on the move.

Best EVs for Minnesota Winters

If you want an EV that can hold up to Minnesota‘s cold and snow, consider these top options based on owner satisfaction ratings from Consumer Reports:

1. Tesla Model 3/Y

  • Class-leading cold weather range of over 250 miles thanks to excellent heat pump efficiency.

  • Available all-wheel drive provides superb snow and ice traction.

  • Advanced cabin preconditioning warms the battery and interior before driving.

  • Large touchscreen display makes controlling heating and music easy even with gloves on.

2. Ford Mustang Mach-E

  • Can be equipped with all-wheel drive for maximum winter grip.

  • Low, centered battery pack adds stability in slippery conditions.

  • One of the quickest charging EVs available, adding range rapidly between stops.

  • Available heated steering wheel, seats, and wiper blades keep you cozy.

3. Volkswagen ID.4

  • Responsive and stable handling attributes for tackling winter roads.

  • Spacious interior stays comfortable with plenty of room for bulky coats.

  • ID.4 owners report only a ~20% range loss in freezing temperatures.

  • Charges quickly allowing you to conveniently top up range at public stations.

I suggest test driving one of these models at your local dealership to experience winter EV use firsthand. Their capabilities in cold weather will impress you!

The EV Future Looks Bright in Minnesota

Electric vehicles are certainly the way of the future here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. With automakers offering more models annually, rapidly improving battery technology, and investment in charging infrastructure, EVs will soon dominate Minnesota‘s roads.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency projects over 300,000 EVs registered statewide by 2030. As public awareness grows through resources like this article, I‘m confident Minnesota will exceed those projections and become a regional leader in EV ownership.

The time is right to join the EV movement. Reach out with any other questions as you explore the excellent electric models now available to withstand and thrive in a Minnesota winter!