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Fast chargers & wood chippers

September 23, 2020

On Monday, photographer Michael and I started another week with another trip to Fargo in the Minnkota Bolt. Last week, we made the journey south to learn more about electric school buses and electric police motorcycles. This week, we would attend a ribbon cutting event for a trio of new DC fast charging stations supported by our pals at Cass County Electric Cooperative (CCEC).

This transportation innovation is exciting enough on its own. But since the dedication would be held at the Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau, that meant Michael and I could pop into the Visitors Center and see Fargo’s crown jewel – the actual wood chipper used in the Coen brothers movie, “Fargo.”

You know the scene.

As we left Grand Forks and merged onto Interstate 29, we realized we’d be battling quite a wind for the 77-mile drive to the event. But even with the 30+ mph gusts, a 75-mph speed limit, and AC running, we still didn’t have to worry about our range. You see, we were heading straight to one of several fast charging stations in our destination community.

Man, that feels so nice to say – SEVERAL FAST CHARGING STATIONS.

The ChargePoint fast charger is located right outside the front doors of the F-M Visitors Center – you can’t miss it!

We arrived early to get the charge we needed before the event started. The 62.5-kW ChargePoint unit delivered us 52 additional miles of range in about 25 minutes. Not bad at all!

While we waited for the charge, we, of course, snapped some photos with the movie-original Fargo wood chipper, as well at the movie-double wood chipper stationed outside. With one of our goals of the trip complete, we got ribbon-cutting ready.

No professional communicators were harmed in the capturing of this movie prop photo.

CCEC’s Bob Miller, a part of the team responsible for energizing the cooperative’s charging stations, welcomed the crowd of dozens of local leaders and community members.

“Cass County Electric has a rich history of being leader in innovation in the communities that we serve,” he said. “These new chargers will establish our communities as leaders in electric vehicle adoption by providing fast charging options for local EV owners, as well as interstate travelers.”

Cass County Electric leaders joined with the Chamber Ambassadors, Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney, and Fargo-Moorhead CVB President/CEO Charley Johnson to cut the ribbon on the new charger.

Miller reiterated the locations of CCEC’s new fast charging stations (Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau, Fargo; West Acres Shopping Center, Fargo; Hornbacher’s, West Fargo), described the funding source of the stations (Volkswagen settlement grants) and thanked all the community partners that helped make the units possible.

Then, the moment everyone was waiting for, as Miller pulled out the big scissors, joined with CCEC leadership and community supporters, and cut the ribbon.

It was beautiful.

A bus, a bike, some Bolts – the event had all the battery-operated tech you could want.

After the main event, attendees were invited to explore the WFPS all-electric school bus and chat with our friend from last week’s trip, Fargo Officer Josh Marvig, about his all-electric patrol motorcycle. On top of that, the crowd was treated to free Norwegian desserts – lefse and krumkake.

Be still, my Norwegian heart. And extra sugar on that lefse, please.

The Sweet Commotions food truck was slinging Scandinavian fare like no one’s business.

Congratulations to Cass County Electric Cooperative on yet another leap forward in EV technology. I so very much love that our region is becoming more EV-friendly every day.

- Kaylee Cusack, Minnkota communications specialist

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