The great Minnesota road trip, electrified

Electric vehicle on the North Shore

New charging stations along the I-35 corridor and Highway 61 allow for travel from the Twin Cities to the North Shore in an electric vehicle.

Minnesota’s first electric corridor is paving the route for electric vehicle owners to experience the North Shore in ways they have never been able to before.

From the Twin Cities to Tettegouche State Park and all of the places in between, it’s possible to go farther than ever in an electric vehicle as charging stations are now located along the I-35 corridor and Highway 61, allowing drivers to plug in and head out for new adventures.

Specifically, the recent addition of a DCFC (level 3 DC fast charger) in Sturgeon Lake, Minn., makes the trip accessible to all electric vehicles – even first generation versions with smaller ranges. Before now, an electric vehicle driver would have to charge up at a level 2 station, which takes more time.

Proving it’s not just about the destination but the journey in getting there, electric vehicle drivers are able to charge up in locations such as Pine City, Sturgeon Lake, Duluth, Two Harbors and Lutsen, and take in sights and experiences they may have normally missed. For route planning purposes, all electric vehicle charging station types and exact locations on any route in Minnesota can be found at plugshare.com.

“A common barrier to driving electric is range anxiety. It’s a paradigm shift to think about refueling (charging) at home and at your destination versus on your way to the destination,” said David Ranallo, Great River Energy’s manager of member services and marketing. “Although many newer makes and models of electric vehicles don’t even need a charge on their way between Minnesota’s beautiful North Shore of Lake Superior and the Twin Cities, now there are fast chargers available for the whole route so they don’t even have to think about which car to take – that’s something to celebrate.”

To celebrate the electric highway being complete, Minnesota electric cooperatives are offering a North Shore getaway sweepstakes featuring a two-night stay at Larsmont Cottages on Lake Superior with a Tesla rental car for the drive up north, as well as a $200 Visa gift card to cover the cost of meals. Electric vehicle owner or not, anyone is eligible to win.

Visit plugintomn.com through Oct. 31 to enter for a chance to win and for more information.