July 27, 2016

New electric vehicle charging stations available in Bemidji


Bemidji now has three electric vehicle charging stations available to city residents and visitors. The city of Bemidji, Bemidji State University, North Country Electrical Services, Inc., and our company partnered to provide the charging stations and related equipment.

Drivers easily can recognize all three of the Level 2 32-Amp charging stations with signage and painted parking spaces. You’ll find them in the:

  • Paul Bunyan Park parking lot at 300 Bemidji Avenue North.
  • City Hall parking lot at 317 4th Street Northwest.
  • Bemidji State University Bangsberg lot off Birchmont Drive Northeast, between Lake Boulevard Northeast and 12th Street.

The charging stations at Paul Bunyan Park and City Hall are free, while Bemidji State University will require a permit.

Bemidji Mayor Rita Albrecht said the effort demonstrated planning for the future. “While there might not be many electric vehicles around right now, we know that the number of electric vehicles is increasing every day,” said Albrecht. “As a community we want to be prepared for that, whether that’s for our citizens or for our visitors.”

Even when plugged into a conventional electric grid, electric vehicles produce fewer emissions than a standard gasoline vehicle. “Our family has owned a Nissan Leaf for a year and a half and we love it,” said Bemidji State University Sustainability Director Erika Bailey-Johnson. “It’s nice to know there are now charging options in town. I am so grateful for the initiative and leadership shown by Otter Tail Power Company and the city.”

The Clipper Creek HCS-40, 7.7-kilowatt charging stations are compatible with all plug-in vehicles and include a 25-foot charging cable. “Depending on the type of electric vehicle you’re plugging in, drivers can expect to get up to 30 miles per hour of charging,” said Otter Tail Power Company Operations Manager Darren Matetich. According to Clipper Creek estimates, the 6.6-kilowatt Nissan Leaf averages a three and a half hour charge time.

The three new charging stations are on PlugShare, an application that provides locations for electric vehicle chargers. Search Facebook or Twitter using #EVBJI for more information and to connect with electric vehicle owners in the Bemidji area.

Otter Tail Power Company customers also can receive rebates and off-peak rates when they install a qualified charging station for their electric vehicles. Visit otpco.com/DriveOn to learn more.