Auto Show goes electric

Chevrolet Bolt electric car

Great River Energy and its member-owner cooperatives educated Auto Show attendees about the advancements in electric vehicle techonology.

Great River Energy was proud to welcome auto enthusiasts to the Electric Room at the 45th Annual Twin Cities Auto Show held March 10-18 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The Electric Room featured the latest technology in plug-in electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and debuted Electric Car-aoke – a Chevrolet Bolt EV version of the viral hit Carpool Karaoke.

“Today, it is possible for electric vehicles to go farther for far less,” said David Ranallo, manager of member services and marketing at Great River Energy. “With the evolution of battery and charging technology, owning and driving an electric vehicle is easier and more affordable than ever before.”

At this year’s Auto Show, electric and hybrid vehicles are growing beyond the Electric Room. The “Mitsubishi Minnesota Mile,” an indoor test track featuring the newest fuel-efficient Mitsubishi crossovers, made its world premiere, including the 74 MPGe Outlander PHEV electric hybrid. At this experience, visitors rode with a professional driver across a test track that featured Minnesota’s two seasons: winter and road construction.

The Electric Room this year was powered by Plug Into Minnesota- a campaign that launched in the fall of 2017 to promote awareness around the places, experiences and adventures that are possible for electric vehicle owners thanks to the expansion of charging stations around the state.

These charging stations along the Interstate 35 corridor and Highway 61 make up the first electrified highway in Minnesota, allowing electric vehicle owners to drive from the Twin Cities to Lutsen and visit all of the destinations in between. Electric co-ops are excited to be a part of future electrification of corridors in Minnesota.

To celebrate the state’s first electric corridor being complete, Minnesota electric cooperatives offered a North Shore getaway sweepstakes. Participants could win an electric Minnesota road trip, including a Tesla rental car, two-night stay at Larsmont Cottages on Lake Superior and the cost of meals.

Great River Energy and its member-owner cooperatives continue to offer the Revolt program, which ensures electric vehicles are fueled entirely with wind energy.

The first-of-its-kind program allows electric vehicle (EV) owners to further support the use of renewable energy.

When a member claims the upgrade, Great River Energy dedicates wind energy to completely cover the electricity used to fuel an EV for the car’s lifetime. The program was extended through at least the end of 2018.

Also in the Electric Room, attendees could talk to MN Plug-In Vehicles Owners members about:

  • What it’s like to drive an electric car every day
  • How a vehicle can be powered 100 percent by wind through Great River Energy’s Revolt program, offered to electric vehicle owners who are members of its 28 member cooperatives
  • How and where to charge a vehicle with renewables
  • Electric vehicles available today on the market in Minnesota