EV Batteries vs. a Minnesota Winter: Which Will Prevail?

Feb 8, 2011 2:55 PM ET

Xcel Energy blog

We know Minnesotans are hardy stock, but will their electric cars match their owners’ mettle? That’s one of the things being tested by the City of St. Paul and Drive Electric Minnesota, a collaboration of businesses, nonprofits and government agencies in the Twin Cities. They’ve teamed up to build an EV infrastructure and put the new cars and vans through their paces in Minnesota’s harsh climate. (O.K., harsh by my standards, but I’ve become a weather wimp.)

With help from grants from Xcel Energy and the U.S. Department of Energy, the City of St. Paul just took delivery of their first all-electric Ford Transit Connect, one of eight all-electric vans to arrive in Minnesota thanks to the Drive Electric Minnesota collaborators.  Hennepin County (Minnesota) and the City of Minneapolis are slated to receive the next wave of deliveries.

Battery blankets, anyone?

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Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) is focused on balancing the need for reliable, affordable energy while building a clean energy future for our customers and the communities we serve. Our commitment to the environment and our communities has been recognized by our inclusion on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North America in 2010-2011.
We’ve been reducing power plant emissions, promoting energy efficiency and using renewable energy for more than a decade. We’re the No. 1 wind power provider and the No. 5 solar utility in the United States. We offer our 3.4 million electricity and 1.9 million natural gas customers some of the largest conservation programs in the country and have helped our customers save enough energy since 1992 to enable us to avoid building more than 12, medium-size power plants.