Crow Wing Power member Carl Reed is just one of eleven electric vehicle owners that have signed up for a pilot project to help the Cooperative design an electric vehicle charging program.
Carl owns a 2014 Nissan LEAF, which he and his wife have had for two years. Carl has worked as an engineer and in construction most of his life, which is obvious when you visit his home along the Mississippi River…a home that’s extremely efficient and low-maintenance. Carl also works at Clow Stamping, so his LEAF commutes approximately 30 miles to work. When he arrives home he plugs in his car and it’s ready to go in about three hours. Cost to charge is only about a $1/day for the 30 mile commute (compared to about $3.00 for a gas vehicle).
When asked when he first thought about owning an electric vehicle, Carl said he’s wanted one since he saw the first EV 1 on display at Walt Disney World in the early 1990’s. Carl even built his own electric vehicle out of a Ford Escort and a dune buggy with eleven lead acid batteries. Carl believes that global warming is a real threat and we all need to move everything over to clean electricity.
He and his wife also own a Hybrid Toyota Camry, which gives them longer distance travelling options.
Carl’s charging habits are typical of what we anticipate most electric vehicle owners in our area will operate their charging stations. Typically electricity will be cheaper (at least today) at night when there’s more electric capacity.
Gary Dirlam from Baxter is another cooperative member who volunteered to help us with our pilot program. Gary purchased a Model 3 Tesla with dual motors just a few months ago. He’s very pleased with it and says the power and pick up speed in an electric car is so amazing, because you don’t have all the moving parts that a normal combustion engine has and electricity is just so fast. Gary also believes strongly in combatting global warming.
Gary’s vehicle motor parts are on top of the drive chassis, so there’s also a nice back trunk and a front “frunk” to use for storage. He says the two motors gives him all wheel drive capability.
We anticipate our pilot program will run for a couple of years, before we can balance the needs and wants of our electric vehicle members against the demands and capacity of our electric grid.
Members who voluntarily sign up for the program - A) have an electric vehicle; B) are willing to put in a sub meter to monitor the electric use of their car charger; C) have a willingness to work with us to understand members charging needs.