Hudson debuts new public electric vehicle charging hubSubmitted: 07/24/2020
Hudson debuts new public electric vehicle charging hub
Maya Reese
Maya Reese
Reporter/Digital Content Director

HUDSON - The Hampton Inn & Suites in Hudson, Wisconsin is now home to a new public electric vehicle charging hub, due in part to grant funding from the U.S. Department of Energy's Michigan to Montana I-94 Clean Fuel Corridor project.

The new hub, located at the Hampton Inn & Suites-Hudson, 1012 Pearson Drive in Hudson, Wisconsin, officially debuted July 23 in a ceremony with project partners. Travelers who need to charge their electric vehicles in Hudson while stopping to eat, shop or visit the community for an extended stay are welcome to use the charging hub.

"Our site is excited to be part of this project," said Dave Robson, Telus Property Services Solutions brokerage & development agent. "We think our location is a perfect fit for travelers on I-94. Even locally, it is an easy location to get to and with the restaurants and hotel right there, what could be better?"

The charging hub, designed by Minneapolis-based ZEF Energy, allows for as many as three electric vehicles to refuel at the same time. The station includes one direct current fast charger (DCFC), the speediest type of electric vehicle charger, and two Level II chargers, which are the most common form of public chargers. The 50 kilowatt DCFC provides 200 miles of battery range for every hour the vehicle is plugged in, while the two Level II chargers at the hub provide 25 miles of battery range for every hour the vehicle is plugged in.

"To find a location near the intersection of I-94 to host this station was not easy but worked out perfectly," ZEF Energy CEO Matthew Blackler said. "It is my hope that others can see this endeavor and be inspired to also become an electric vehicle driver destination."

Electric vehicle charging plays as an important role as it continues to fill gaps along the border of Wisconsin and Minnesota. The EV charging station was made possible in part through funding from Telus Property Services, the St. Croix Economic Development Corporation, ZEF Energy, the Michigan to Montana I-94 Clean Fuel Corridor project (M2M), the City of Hudson and the Hudson City Council.

The M2M project, spearheaded by Illinois-based GTI - a leading research, development and training organization addressing global energy and environmental challenges - is funded through a $4.9 million U.S. Department of Energy grant awarded in December 2016. It is being facilitated in partnership with Clean Cities coalitions, including Wisconsin Clean Cities and Twin Cities Clean Cities Coalition, to build alternative fuel infrastructure along the Interstate 94 corridor.

"We applaud all of the project partners for their work in bringing the electric vehicle charging hub to Hudson," Wisconsin Clean Cities Executive Director Lorrie Lisek said. "This station is filling a gap in the I-94 corridor for electric vehicle charging in eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Adding options for electric vehicle charging along the I-94 corridor helps improve air quality, boosts economic development, reduces our nation's dependence on imported oil and supports local jobs."

Ted Barnes, GTI's director of transportation, said the U.S. Department of Energy's support of this project and others along Interstate 94, "confirms the critical role alternative fuel corridors play in our nation's transportation network."

"We thank the U.S. Department of Energy and all of the project partners for making this new station possible."

Bill Rubin, executive of St. Croix Economic Development Corporation, said, "St. Croix EDC is happy to partner with our community members to make this DC fast charger part of the charging infrastructure that will support EV adoption."

"Electric vehicles are a smart transportation choice. They have no tailpipe emissions and cost less to operate than gas powered cars."

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