Last week, I had the pleasure of attending a ribbon cutting event for a Fargo EV fast charging station energized by our pals at Cass County Electric Cooperative. This week, I was lucky enough to attend my second fast charger ceremony – but Bolty and I only had to drive a minute down the road for this one.
On Oct. 1, our neighbors at Nodak Electric Cooperative invited local leaders and special guests to help them cut the ribbon on their own ChargePoint DC fast charging station – the first one in the Grand Forks community. As someone who lives in the Grand Forks community, I can personally say that THIS IS A HUGE DEAL. The closest fast charging opportunities EV drivers have are Winnipeg to the north, Bemidji to the east, and Fargo to the south. To the west, it’s even farther. Grand Forks was a fast-charge black hole – but no more!
To help celebrate this regional progress in charging infrastructure, Grand Forks Mayor Brandon Bochenski stopped by to commend Nodak’s work, noting that he wouldn’t be surprised to see himself behind the wheel of an EV in the years to come. After some words of thanks to all those who helped make the charging station possible from Nodak president and CEO Mylo Einarson, the Nodak team joined the mayor and members of the local Chamber of Commerce to cut the shiny blue ribbon.
One small snip for Nodak, one giant leap for EV owner-kind.
Nodak’s ribbon cutting was paired with a community event dubbed Fast Charge & Frostys. Are you confused by the name? Well, the fast charger is situated in a Wendy’s restaurant parking lot, a perfect location tucked amidst tons of shopping and eatery choices along 32nd Ave. South. But if you’re parked and charging at Wendy’s, you’re going to want a Frosty ice cream, right? Nodak leaned into this idea and decided that over the lunch hour, they would hand out coupons for a free Frosty to anyone who drove by for more information about the station.
Yes, it was very chilly this autumn day (around 40 degrees with a brisk wind), but it’s never too cold for a Frosty, especially when it’s free.
One of the local guests who stopped by for a Frosty was Tesla owner Kyle Thorson, a happy EV driver for more than four years. Kyle had some charger questions for Nodak employees Blaine Rekken and Gretchen Schmaltz, but Blaine and Gretchen had far more questions for Kyle about his Model S, which has a range of more than 400 miles.
“A lot of Tesla owners come through this direction, trying to go to Winnipeg or other places, and they have an option now, whereas they might have taken a longer route to go through other places before,” Kyle said. “So I think this will be a big deal. And as we start to build up more infrastructure around the state, it makes it more possible to own electric vehicles.”
Right you are, Kyle. And as electric cooperatives, we are happy to lead the charge.
- Kaylee Cusack, Minnkota communications specialist