In October, Northfield Rotary partnered with Northfield Shares, a local philanthropic organization, and Recharge Minnesota to host an EVent that introduced some 220 interested consumers to the wonders of electric vehicles. The EVent also raised $15,000 for environmental sustainability grants.
Since its inception in 2017, the Northfield, MN Rotary Climate Action Team (RCAT) has been motivated by the knowledge that transportation contributes 29 percent of the greenhouse gas to the atmosphere. RCAT supports the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) and has partnered with the City of Northfield to install the first public EV charging stations in town.
In 2021, Northfield RCAT decided to host an EVent to demonstrate, offer rides and showcase EVs for the public to give community members an opportunity to learn about electric vehicles and experience an EV ride.
Due to the micro-chip shortage, dealer participation was limited. Nevertheless, ReCharge MN solicited two Teslas and a Polestar from dealers for demonstration rides. Eight Rotarians and a friend of Rotary provided other electric vehicles, a Nissan Leaf, a Chevy Bolt and six Teslas. In addition, there were electric bicycles, scooters as well as battery powered lawn mowers, hedge trimmers, and weed whackers for public education.
Taking a test drive!Members answering questions
An exciting addition to our EVent was the inclusion of the first electric semi-tractor licensed in Minnesota. It has a twenty-four hour, seven-days-a-week shift moving trailers around at the local Post Cereal plant. The maintenance and operating costs for this machine are much lower than for a gasoline or diesel-powered truck and the owners expect to save about $400,000 over it’s service life.
The manufacturer’s representative, who attended the event, reported that his next venture will be addressing shipping port vehicle shortages to assist in resoling our national supply problems.