Wednesday, December 7, 2022

EV Smart Communities

In this webinar, presented live on December 7, 2022, we learned more about the best practices for becoming an equitable EV-Smart Community.

  • 9:00am – Welcome
  • 9:15 –  Overview of EV Smart Communities Program - Diana McKeown and Rebecca Heisel, Great Plains Institute
    • Diana shared the past efforts with cities and tribal nations through the Cities Charging Ahead! cohorts and Rebecca introduced the EV Smart Communities program. The EV Smart Cities framework has been developed and is ready for pilot cities to join and the EV Smart Native Nations framework will be co-developed by GPI and participating nations. Fill out the interest form (linked below) by Dec. 30 to be considered in the pilot. 
    • The City program framework includes 6 categories, with equity included throughout: planning, regulation, utility engagement, education & incentives, governmental operations, and shared mobility. Each category includes best practices and actions that lead to an EV Smart City. 
  • 9:40 - Q&A 
  • 9:55 – Brandy Toft, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe
    • Brandy addressed environmental justice concerns related to electric vehicle adoption and why Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe is interested in leading EV-smart efforts. For example, as ICE vehicles are converted to EVs in the metro areas, they may be 'dumped' onto tribal members. Another example is that road and transportation infrastructure investments look at address statewide needs but not the needs of tribal members and government. 
    • Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe has the largest EV charging hub in Northern Minnesota with 5 Level 2 and 1 Level 3 chargers! And they are looking to add another 14 Level 2 chargers, 2 Level 3 chargers, 2 PHEV fleet vehicles, and host 2 EV test drive events. They are also thinking about how to 'future-proof' projects by putting in conduit and other infrastructure now and training a workforce around EVSE. 
  • 10:10 – Councilmember Evan Brown, Red Wing
    • Councilmember Brown talked about the citizen-led initiative in 2018 to install a Level 3 city charger that is free for users downtown. That project has led to additional interest like a city-owned redevelopment site to include a 50 kW Level 3 and two Level 2 chargers and two Level 2 chargers at City Hall. 
    • Additionally, the city adopted an EV Charging Infrastructure Policy in 2022 to achieve 1 charging head per 50 public parking stalls. Currently in review, the city is also considering a policy set goals for EV charging and EV-ready private parking spaces. 
    • The City of Red Wing completed a fleet study in 2020 which led to adding 2 Chevy Bolt EUVs for the Building Inspection Dept. and the Environmental Services Dept. 
  • 10:25 – Jen McLoughlin, Woodbury
    • Jen discussed the city's fleet efforts starting in 2015 with 2 Chevy Volt PHEVs. Participation in the Cities Charging Ahead! cohort lead to hosting a ride and drive event for city staff, adding a Mitsubuishi Outlander for Public Safety in 2019, and adding four Ford Inceptor hybrids in 2021. 
    • The City of Woodbury participated in two Xcel Energy programs in 2021 and 2022. The Fleet Electrification Program conducted a EV Suitability Assessment with telematic devices that provided recommendations. The Fleet EV Solutions program provided the installation of ten Level 2 chargers at the City Hall parking lot. 
    • Up next, the City is ordering additional PHEVs, 2-3 EV trucks, city-owned public chargers for Central Park and other public and fleet locations, and a Fleet Action Plan. 
  • 10:40 – Q&A and open discussion
  • 11:00 – Conclusion

View the workshop recording: 

View the PDF and additional materials:


Best Practice Actions related to this topic: 
  • 2.2: Integrate green building and EV charging best practices information and assistance into the building permit process.
  • 2.3Implement an energy rating/disclosure policy for residential and/or commercial buildings.
  • 2.7Customize a model sustainable building renovation policy that includes the SB 2030 energy standard and adopt the language to govern private renovation projects. 
  • 3.3Adopt a sustainable building policy for private buildings; include the SB 2030 energy standard; adopt language governing new development projects. 
  • 3.4Provide a financial or other incentive to private parties who build new buildings that utilize the SB 2030 energy standard and/or a green building framework.
  • 6.5Adopt climate mitigation and/or energy independence goals and objectives in the comprehensive plan or in a separate policy document, and include transportation recommendations such as becoming an EV-ready city.
  • 8.3Modify a planned unit development (PUD) ordinance to emphasize or require mixed-use development or affordable housing, to limit residential PUDs to areas adjacent to commercial development, and/or to add sustainability features.
  • 9.1Establish design goals for at least one highway/auto-oriented corridor/cluster.
  • 9.4Adopt development policies for large-format developments, zoning for auto-oriented commercial districts at the sub-urban edge and/or in tightly defined and smaller urban development corridors/nodes that have some bike/walk/transit access.
  • 11.1: Adopt a complete streets policy, or a living streets policy, which addresses landscaping and stormwater.
  • 11.3Modify a street in compliance with the city's complete streets policy.
  • 13.2: Right-size/down-size the city fleet with the most fuel-efficient vehicles that are of an optimal size and capacity for their intended functions.
  • 13.3: Phase-in operational changes, equipment changes including electric vehicles, and no-idling practices for city or local transit fleets.
  • 14.1: Reduce or eliminate parking minimums; add parking maximums; develop district parking; install meters and charge for parking at curb and city-owned lots/ramps. 
  • 18.7: Document that the operation and maintenance, or construction / remodeling, of at least one park building used an asset management tool, the SB 2030 energy standard, or a green building framework.
  • 23.5: Install, assist with and promote publicly available EV charging stations or public fueling stations for alternative fuel vehicles. 
  • 25.6: Promote green businesses that are recognized under a local, regional or national program.
  • See the full list!

Register for upcoming GreenStep Cities and Tribal Nations workshops here. You do not need to be a GreenStep community to attend.

 Visit the GreenStep Cities and Tribal Nations program website at

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