Charging up in Lanesboro

The city and public utilities are helping make Southeastern Minnesota accessible to electric vehicles.

Posted: Aug. 9, 2018 2:46 PM

LANESBORO, Minn. - Lanesboro installed 2 electric vehicle charging stations, but does a town of Lanesboro's size need to accomodate electric cars?

According to city administrator and clerk Michele Peterson, there are a handful of people in the Lanesboro area who drive electric cars. However, while the demand for charging stations may not be high right now, the city is thinking ahead with tourism and sustainability in mind.

"This has been something we've talked about for years but there just wasn't the ability to do that at the time but I think we're all just very cognizant  of the efforts to do better for the environment, to do better for the community," she explains.

Dallas, Texas, resident Becky Pedersen visits Lanesboro frequently and while she doesn't drive an electric car herself, she thinks the city is headed in the right direction for the future of their tourism industry. "If you wait until the absolute need is there, sometimes you've missed your opportunity," she says.

The charging stations are connected to a phone application called ChargePoint. Users can see on a map where chargers are available all over the U.S. In addition to Lanesboro, there are also chargers in Chatfield, Rochester, and plenty in the Twin Cities Metro area.

Having chargers in Lanesboro will help make not only Lanesboro, but the Southeastern Minnesota region more accesible to people who drive electric vehicles.

"From the Metro area, people should have no problem coming all the way down to Lanesboro to spend the day," says Peterson.

The stations were paid for by funds set aside by Lanesboro Public Utilities for conservation improvement programs, and people who use the chargers pay via the ChargePoint app for the electricity they used to charge up their car.

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