Group pushes for mandatory electric vehicle chargers in Fargo apartments – INFORUM | CarTailz

FARGO – Apartment residents in Fargo would have easy access to electric vehicle chargers if a local group’s petition to the city is successful.

“The idea is to require new residential buildings to have at least 20% of their parking spaces equipped with the infrastructure needed to charge an electric vehicle,” said Sonya Kaye, chair of the Citizens Local Energy Action Network (CLEAN), a nonprofit group , which focuses on reducing the Fargo region’s carbon footprint.

In addition, CLEAN proposes that existing homes be required to retrofit 10% of their parking spaces with charging infrastructure.

This transition would require residential buildings to install outlets compatible with the higher wattage requirements of electric vehicle chargers. Vehicle owners would be responsible for purchasing the charger themselves, which Kaye says is available at local hardware stores.

CLEAN plans to pitch its idea to Fargo’s Sustainability and Resilience Committee at a meeting on Tuesday, November 22 at 3 p.m. at City Hall.

“I look forward to learning from people who are really passionate about what they are campaigning for,” said City Commissioner John Strand, who did not express his support for the proposal’s implementation in its entirety.

The petitioners will present their case to the Sustainability and Resilience Committee. And if those members are receptive to the idea, the committee will discuss any possible changes they would like to make, and can then send their version of the proposal to the city commission for further discussion, amendments, and a possible vote.

City Commissioner Arlette Preston said she could not comment on electric vehicles without further research. The forum’s attempts to reach Mayor Tim Mahoney and Commissioners Dave Piepkorn and Denise Kolpack for comment on the proposal were unsuccessful.

Strand doesn’t yet know how easy it would be to apply this idea to existing apartment buildings, but he says the city could at least explore the idea of ​​incentivizing new buildings to equip tenants with electric vehicle infrastructure.

“In my opinion, the discussion of incentivising new developments to have electric vehicle infrastructure is a pretty straight forward discussion,” Strand said.

A slide from CLEAN’s presentation of its proposal to improve access to electric vehicle charging stations for residents of Fargo’s homes.

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CLEAN says its efforts are aimed at ensuring apartment dwellers have the opportunity to purchase electric vehicles.

“Part of the reason there aren’t more electric vehicles is because we don’t have the infrastructure to support that,” Strand said. North Dakota, a place where the bitter cold can affect EV range, ranks last among states for the number of EVs.

Owning an electric vehicle comes with many savings, says Kaye, including fewer repairs due to fewer parts in the vehicle and no gas or oil costs.

The cars themselves, Kaye says, have also become increasingly affordable, with a $7,500 federal tax credit available for eligible vehicles.

Kaye says there could be resistance from apartment owners due to the initial cost of installing the infrastructure. You can apply for a 30 percent federal tax credit to help offset the cost, Kaye said, and she recommends that the city provide incentives, too.

“It’s good for Fargo because it will keep money locally, reduce nanoparticles and other pollution in the region locally, and reduce our carbon footprint.” So it’s good for the planet and (will) benefit us all,” Kaye said.

With over 300 signatures collected by CLEAN in person and more arriving online, the group hopes the city will be receptive to their idea.

“Let’s have fun with it, embrace it and see what we can do,” Strand said.

To his knowledge, Strand said the city had been involved in two electric vehicle charging stations, one in front of City Hall and one on top of the RoCo parking garage, but that it had never investigated EV infrastructure on such a scale before.

“I like that they give us something tangible,” said Strand.

A man stands in front of the open door of a shiny red small car.

Auto engineering student Ethan Yak examines the all-electric Volkswagen ID4 during an open house October 19, 2022 at the Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Moorhead, where the school announced a program to train technicians to service electric vehicles.

Michael Vosburg / The Forum

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