Bulk buy opportunity! Minnesota EV charging stations

In 2021 CERTs received seed grant proposals from across the state related to electric vehicle (EV) charging. 

While we were unable to fund all of these projects, we're pleased to share an opportunity for purchasing level II EV chargers at a reduced rate. The offer comes from our friends at ZEF Energy. We sat down with Chris Grunseth, director of commercial sales for ZEF Energy, to learn more!

Chris, tell us about ZEF Energy.

ZEF Energy is an EV charging infrastructure and software developer. We specialize in manufacturing level II EV charging stations; providing the ZEFNET Network and smart charging. ZEF Energy is based in Minnesota and all of our products are made in America. We also offer the industry's longest warranty. Our clients include: local governments, fleet operators, workplaces, college campuses, multi-unit housing, and more.

Notably, we recently teamed up with the cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis to launch charging stations for their new EV Spot Network.

What is the bulk buy program?

This opportunity is for nonprofits, government, and commercial businesses to purchase level II EV charging stations at a reduced rate. The total amount of chargers collectively purchased through this program determines how much each buyer can save. With 20 or more chargers, organizations will save 5%, 50 or more chargers will save 7%, and 100 or more chargers will save organizations 10%. Purchases can include a mix of level II EV charging station models. At this time, ZEF is not offering this program to residents. 

By opening access to this program for a short time, we are able to reduce our overall cost involved with producing the charging stations. As more organizations join the program, then we can reduce the price even further. 

When is the offer available?

Now through May 18, 2022.

Why did you decide to offer this promotion?

We want to provide more access to EV chargers and help our communities. The two leading reasons that people don't buy electric vehicles is the cost of electric vehicles and the lack of access to charging stations. 

As you know, last fall, a large number of municipalities and nonprofits applied for grants for EV charging stations with CERTs. This idea started as a way to help those groups that didn’t get funding to gain access to charging stations at a reduced price, hopefully lowering barriers for them. Then the idea branched out from there.

Why should communities and organizations consider EV charging stations?

Good question. It really does move the needle within communities. It’s important to start looking at where the vehicle movement is headed. It’s projected over the next eight years that 5% of vehicles being sold throughout the United States will be electric. The question then becomes, how do we support our community? As people adopt electric vehicles further, do we want to be at the forefront, do we want to wait, or not do it at all? Most organizations we work with want to proactively offer something for the community as an option for when they do go out and buy that electric vehicle.

You mentioned smart charging. What is that and why is it beneficial?

Smart charging is a way to help communities manage electric vehicle charging stations. Allowing control over the amount of power that comes out of the charging stations and the rate for that power. With smart charging, there’s the option for driver grouping, like if you're at a workplace and you want to offer your employees a reduced rate versus the general public. It also allows for things like solar integration.

There’s so many places we go with this with smart charging, everything from multifamily housing — to workplaces — to fleets. It really gives a level of control, which can ultimately increase access to charging stations and intelligently manage any additional costs associated with it.

For those who are interested in the bulk buy opportunity, where should they start?

We invite you to reach out to us and we can begin the process today. We’re available to walk you through the program details, review your EV charging options, and learn more about your organization’s specific needs and goals. We look forward to partnering with you to create a Zero Emissions Future.

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