Recharge Winona EV Test Drive & Expo Was a Huge Success!

The weather was gorgeous, the foot traffic was plentiful, and the atmosphere was fun and electric! On Saturday, September 16, approximately 300 attendees visited the Winona State University campus to see EVs, e-bikes, e-scooters, and exhibitors from across the sustainability field. Many attendees came upon the event serendipitously, just being out and about in Winona that morning. 

Men looking in the trunk of a Toyota BZ4X EV

Representatives from Dahl Toyota showing the BZ4X before taking it out on a test drive

With 7 vehicles available to test drive and 2 more as ride alongs, we were able to complete more than 60 ride and drive experiences over the course of the four hours! Attendees expressed their enjoyment of the whole event, noting how fun it was to drive the cars. Adventure Cycle and Ski had four e-bikes available to ride and counted 125 rides on those, while the Bird scooters rep was equally busy throughout the day.

People walking in parking lot looking at EVs, e-scooters, and e-bikes

Attendees enjoyed talking with EV owners, taking test drives, and trying out e-bikes and e-scooters

One of the most notable aspects of the event was the closeness of the community. Attendees, exhibitors, and volunteers alike greeted each other with smiles, waves and hugs. We heard conversations about how people were neighbors or knew each other from church or whose kids were on teams together. It was absolutely wonderful to see how connected the Winona community is.

The success of the event can be attributed to the dedication of the steering committee, who championed the event across town. Many thanks go out to the City of Winona and Visit Winona, as well as to Winona State University for hosting, and to energy partners MiEnergy Cooperative, Champion Solar and Xcel Energy

Energy City Indeed: Recharge Elk River

Minnesota State’s Transportation Center of Excellence hands-on careers trailer

Around 250 attendees from Elk River and the surrounding area came out on August 5 to test out EVs and e-bikes! The event at the Furniture and Things Community Event Center took place on one of the best weather days in awhile, offering perfect conditions for family fun. The steering committee — which included the City of Elk River, Sherburne County, the Elk River Area Chamber of Commerce, Xcel Energy, Connexus Energy, and the Energy City Commission — chose a theme of “ElectriFUNcation” and the day delivered!

Vern Iverson’s personal calculations of his savings since 2017

Vern Iverson, a member of the Energy City Commission and an EV owner since 2017, not only shared his Tesla Y but also calculations of his personal savings since switching to EVs in 2017. Attendees had almost a dozen vehicles to look at or drive, with models from Ford, Tesla, Volvo, Kia, VW, and Chevy in the mix. Elk River’s police department even brought their Ford Interceptor electric police cruiser!

The day also focused on careers in electrification, with Minnesota State bringing their hands-on career trailer and Cornerstone Auto, Anoka Technical College, and Central Minnesota Jobs and Training Services all hosting tables to talk about available jobs and training.

Test drives in progress. More than 150 e-bike rides and test drives took place over the four hour event.

Events like these not only provide an introduction to electrification, but they foster conversations between neighbors about how and why they’ve chosen EVs. One attendee even let us know this week that since the event on Saturday, they’ve been to the Tesla dealership and ordered their next car! Those experiences can’t be replicated online or just by looking at a car brochure. We’re proud to have helped support this event and look forward to working with the Elk River community in the future.

MassEVolves Spotlight: AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca, a founding participant in MassEVolves that embraces sustainability on a global level, installed a 250 electric vehicle (EV) charging port complex at its Waltham location in 2020, the largest such complex on the East Coast.

A collaboration between AstraZeneca, Eversource, the Massachusetts Electric Vehicle Incentive Program (MassEVIP), and MassEVolves enabled the retrofitting of AstraZeneca’s existing garage in Waltham with electric vehicle charging stations. The project consisted of expanding the Waltham location’s EV charge capacity to 125 dual-headed stations, for a total of 250 Level 2 ports, creatively installed to allow each charging port to cover two parking spaces. This provides charging access to more than 450 spaces in the parking garage.

“Our company is committed to environmental sustainability and operating with net zero carbon emissions by 2025, and we are excited to be part of bringing large-scale EV capability to the region and to the employees who work at the AstraZeneca Boston BioHub,” says Ken Sutton, Facilities Director for AstraZeneca R&D Boston. “We hope this project inspires others to leverage the power of collaborations between private industry, State of Mass. EV organizations, and utilities like Eversource to affect change.”

Eversource, AstraZeneca’s energy provider, paid for and managed 100 percent of the installation of infrastructure supporting the charging stations under its EV Charging Station Program, which include transformers, switchgear, conduits and wiring. Funding for the chargers was a collaboration, with AstraZeneca purchasing the charging stations and receiving a partial rebate through financial incentives offered by MassEVIP. The ChargePoint charging stations were supplied by Voltrek.

Feedback from employees has been positive.

“The expansion of the charging station at work makes my life much easier,” says April Chen, who works at the BioHub. “I don’t have to come in the middle of the day to move my car to get charged. It makes my mind peaceful at work.”

Learn more about AstraZeneca’s sustainability initiatives at Download the complete MassEVolves AstraZeneca case study here.

MassEVolves is a statewide initiative conducted by Recharge America in partnership with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Department of Environmental Protection. More information about the MassEVolves program is at