Midwest Electric members and the surrounding St. Henry community will receive a boost of power on the road – that is, those with electric vehicles can plug in at the co-op’s first Level 2 ChargePoint charging station installed at Niekamp Farm Market. The electric vehicle charging station, completed in February, accommodates two vehicles and is available to the community 24/7 free of charge (for a limited time only).
The number of EVs on the road continues to rise, and Midwest Electric wants to stay on the forefront of emerging technology to meet members’ needs, improve green technology, and showcase their 7 Cooperative Principles, one of which is “Concern for Community.”
“Electric vehicles have a very low market share today, but we want to be innovative and on the front end of providing this service to our members and to the community,” said CEO Matt Berry. “This project will also provide us with data on electric vehicle charging that will be helpful as we expand our EV programs. We are happy to help drive traffic to Niekamp Farm Market, one of our members.”
The co-op also provides a $200 electric vehicle level 2 charger rebate to members and member businesses to encourage charging during overnight hours, when overall electricity demand is low. More information on rebates is available online at www.midwestrec.com/rebates.
The Level 2 charging station is part of a global partnership with U.S.-based company ChargePoint, who boasts the world’s largest EV charging network. Those wishing to charge their vehicle will need to download the free ChargePoint app, where they can receive 24/7 driving support and find a list of other charging stations around the country. The station will allow two vehicles to charge simultaneously at a rate of 7.2 kW, giving customers a maximum charge rate of 25 RPH (miles of Range Per Hour).
Midwest Electric is following a nationwide electric cooperative trend and hopes to install another charger later in 2022.
“Programs like this demonstrate the co-ops’ commitment to improving access to environmentally friendly electric technologies for their members, educate the public about electric transportation and showcase the co-ops’ concern for their regions by investing in a local company that is committed to the citizens of their communities,” said Brian Sloboda, director of consumer solutions for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.