Gov. Walz stresses role of co-ops in big electric vehicle plans

Great River Energy’s leadership in electrifying the economy—specifically its focus on electric vehicles (EVs)—was recognized in September as Great River Energy’s David Saggau and David Ranallo were invited to join Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz as he stressed the importance of EVs to achieve Minnesota’s environmental goals.

Plans announced by Gov. Walz’s are expected to result in more EVs available, particularly in rural areas where dealerships often have few or no options.

Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan speaks during the Clean Cars Minnesota press conference as Great River Energy President and CEO David Saggau; David Ranallo, director of culture, communications, marketing and member services; and other stakeholders look on.

“Our invitation to the event demonstrates the leadership role Great River Energy and our member-owner cooperatives have in electric vehicles,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Saggau. “Perhaps more importantly, it proves that cooperatives will have a place at the table in the state’s upcoming energy decisions.”

The state’s current goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2025 and 80% by 2050. Minnesota has made progress toward this goal, namely in the electricity sector, but transportation is the state’s No. 1 source of emissions.

“Support from the governor’s office combined with programs already offered by electric cooperatives have the potential to spark the growth of electric vehicles in Minnesota,” said Ranallo, director of culture, communications, marketing and member services. “Electric vehicles are the environmentally conscious choice today, and they will only improve over time.”

Great River Energy has already made headway in reducing its carbon emissions by 38% since 2005 and is on schedule to achieve its goal of 50% renewable energy by 2050.

“This commitment to building out our electric vehicle infrastructure across the state will expand economic opportunities for everyone,” Walz said. “That’s why we’ve had partners in rural electric co-ops and the business community understanding the market and Minnesotans are demanding options.”