In the rural northwest Minnesota communities of Hallock and Roseau, two car dealerships, C&M Ford, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram, and Roseau County Ford, have provided top-notch service and forward-driven thinking in the automotive industry (C&M since 1966 and Roseau County Ford since 2006). What makes these dealerships unique is their commitment to a more sustainable planet through the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). ​​In support of the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, owner Paul Blomquist has adopted a progressive mindset within his life and business. Being ahead of the curve and supporting renewable transportation is one of the dealership’s primary motivations in their growing EV initiatives. The two dealerships are preparing for the future, branding themselves as official “EV dealerships” in order to positively impact the community, the environment, and the economy.

Blomquist and his team increase awareness through community engagement and education. They have participated in and will continue to host community test drive events to give Hallock, Roseau, and other northwest Minnesota residents first-hand experiences driving an EV.

Charging infrastructure is top-of-mind when addressing EV adoption. As a response, the C&M dealership has two Level 2 stations, and Roseau County Ford has two Level 2 stations, as well. Blomquist is also partnering with Otter Tail Power and two other business owners to develop a DC Fast charging station in Hallock. Additionally, Blomquist personally helps customers with their charging needs at their home, working with electricians and utility companies, to ensure that new EV owners are comfortable charging their EV. Both dealerships’ websites have an entire section dedicated to EV education and there is a steady stream of EV news on their social media channels.

Blomquist is a pillar of his community. In addition to serving on the national Ford Dealer Council, he is co-chair of Hallock Main Street and collaborates with many conservation organizations in the state including, but not limited to, Fresh Energy and Conservation Minnesota. He played a groundbreaking role as the sole Minnesota auto dealer in support of Clean Cars Minnesota, and authored a definitive letter to the editor illustrating the benefits of the state-wide rule.

“Our Minnesota economy is dependent upon respecting our past successes and challenges, but more so embracing our present and building for a future that protects our environment and builds our economy, hand in hand.”

– Paul Blomquist, Owner of C&M and Roseau County Ford

Electric vehicle advocacy is a central component within the culture and mindset of the two dealerships, and Blomquist hopes to continue to guide the community in the journey to setting the stage for the rest of the state of Minnesota.

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