Plugged In To Electric Vehicles
General Electric will buy 25,000 electric vehicles (EVs) by 2015, for its own use and for lease through its Fleet Services Division, based in Eden Prairie. “We build product all along the electric vehicle infrastructure,” everything from charging stations for consumers to smartgrid components for utilities, says the division’s chief or strategy, Deb Frodl. Pushing EV adoption will bring $500 million in added revenues in the next three years, GE projects.
Kraus-Anderson Realty installed an EV charging station in July at Bloomington’s Southtown Shopping Center, a first for the company. Ken Vinje and Jerry Sand, who lead property development, say they’re testing the waters, anticipating a shift in commercial real estate that will make charging stations standard at retail, office, and industrial properties like those they manage. Cost for the station and installation was $15,000, but can vary widely. Users pay $3 for two hours of juice.
Drive Electric Minnesota, a public-private partnership that includes Xcel Energy and Best Buy, will install another dozen charging stations in St. Paul and Minneapolis this fall, adding to four that it installed earlier. That will bring the total in the metro to about 30.