Fill ‘er up, while I sleepThree fully-electric cars that need to be plugged in rather than gassed up were at the center of attention on Tuesday. One of the cars included a $100,000 Tesla.
By: Naomi Yaeger, Duluth Budgeteer News
Three fully-electric cars that need to be plugged in rather than gassed up were at the center of attention on Tuesday. One of the cars included a $100,000 Tesla.
Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors, Holiday Inn employees and those interested in lowering their carbon footprint gathered on the third floor of the Holiday Inn & Suites Duluth Downtown parking ramp to see two charging stations for electric cars on Tuesday morning.
The two charging stations have room for four cars. On Tuesday morning three cars were parked at the stations: a Chevy Volt, a Toyota Prius and a Tesla.
The Tesla, owned by Mark Labovitz, was driven from Minneapolis to Duluth by Labovitz who is the owner of the Holiday Inn & Suites.
The Chevy and the Prius have purchase prices of about one-third of the cost of the Tesla.
“This will take the anxiety out of traveling to Duluth in an electric car,” said Labovitz.
He said that he used to worry about taking his electric car to Duluth because he wasn’t sure where he would recharge it.
Labovitz, who compared his Telsa to a Mercedes, said, “I don’t miss going to a gas station.”
“We have a lot of guests who come up here from Minneapolis,” he said.
The charging stations at the Holiday Inn have a video screen.
Retired Lake Superior College professor of technology Mike Koppy was at the event with his 2013 electric Prius bearing a Massachusetts license plate.
Many Priuses are hybrids, which means they use both gas and electricity. Hybrid cars charge themselves as they are driven and using gas.
Koppy said that electric Priuses are not available in the Midwest and residents of the Midwest are not allowed to purchase them, so his daughter who lives in Massachusetts purchased the car in Massachusetts for him and his wife, Carol Bunde.
Koppy said that he wanted the electric car to help with the environment and that he and his wife also live in an energy-efficient home.
The Holiday Inn & Suites will become the first private company in Duluth to offer electric car-charging stations today, a service hotel officials hope will draw travelers from the Twin Cities who drive electric cars and hybrids.
DyAnn Andybur, the energy coordinator for the city, attended Tuesday’s event.
She said that she wanted the public to know that the City of Duluth installed the first EV (electric vehicle) charging station in Duluth at the city-owned Library/Depot parking ramp in June, and in July UMD followed suit and installed a charger in a campus parking lot. It is right outside the Darland Administration building. UMD’s station is currently free for students, staff, faculty, and visitors.
More than 50 electric vehicle charging stations already have been installed in Minnesota, primarily in the Twin Cities area. In coming months, charging stations will be added at Benna Ford on Tower Avenue in Superior. Upon completion, the DTA Multimodal Transportation Center also will feature charging stations.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is planning to install electric vehicle charging stations in state parks, and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has received a Metropolitan Council grant to install up to 76 charging stations in strategic areas throughout the state, such as along Interstate 35 and Highway 61.