Monday | December 21, 2020

Local business adds electric vehicle charging hub

Cresco, IA | Rushford, MN (8 a.m. Dec. 21, 2020)—Whitewater Travel Plaza, of St. Charles, recently added a new way to fuel up. Drivers of electric vehicles traveling through the area can stop at the plaza, just off Interstate 90, to power up.

When approached about adding electric vehicle chargers to the site siblings Heather Elsing Kieffer and Jason Elsing, who own the travel plaza, welcomed the opportunity.

“Data is showing growth in the number of electric vehicles on the roads. Forecasts show continued growth. We want to be prepared for this change in vehicle technology,” says Jason.
The electric charging hub, owned and maintained by ZEF Energy, includes a 50kW DC fast charger and a Dual plug Level 2 charger. Those charging on the fast charger will enjoy about 90 miles of range added to their car in 30 minutes. Those who can dwell a bit longer can use the Level 2 chargers and perhaps head into the Whitewater Restaurant for a home-cooked meal.

“We do notice the people who are using the chargers take advantage of the restaurant and gift shop while they wait,” says Heather.
MiEnergy Cooperative installed the electric infrastructure necessary to feed the charging hub and recommended the location to ZEF Energy. A grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, who is administering the settlement monies awarded to the State of Minnesota as part of the Volkswagen diesel gate scandal, accommodated a majority of the remaining costs. Those in the electric industry are looking for corridors to aid in the expansion of vehicle charging stations.
“On average, most electric vehicles can gain 180-240 miles per hour of charge with a DC fast charger,” says Kent Whitcomb, MiEnergy’s vice president of member services.
Whitcomb explained a Level 2 station charges at a rate of 15-30 miles over the course of an hour. The cooperative has Level 2 charging stations at its Rushford and Cresco offices.

Those interested in using the charging hub at Whitewater Travel Plaza can see its associated costs on an app called PlugShare, an application which EV drivers often use to determine where chargers are located. ZEF Energy made us aware that the chargers are free through the end of January as a holiday promotion during these challenging times associated with the pandemic.

owners of whitewater travel plaza by charging station

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Brenda Tesch
Manager of Marketing and Communications