Minnesota’s capital and its most populous city have plans to build 70 electric charging stations, as part of an effort to increase the use of electric vehicles in both areas.

The Twin Cities Electric Vehicle Mobility Network was given $6.7 million in funding to build public charging stations by the U.S. Department of Energy, which will also be used to build an electric car sharing service and work with local organizations to encourage the use of EVs in both areas. The new initiative has been praised by the mayors of both cities, who said in a shared statement that this was part of a larger effort that included “100 percent renewable electricity by 2030”.

Some of the new charging stations will be fitted with Direct Current Fast Chargers, which can charge an electric car in less than thirty minutes.

This initiative is itself part of a larger package from the Department of Energy that has seen $155 million distributed across the United States, funding 55 separate projects designed to encourage and support electric and innovative vehicle technology.

The new electric one-way car sharing service will be run by the local non-profit organisation HOURCAR, which already provides similar services with regular vehicles in both cities as well as Rochester. The money will also apparently be used to fund HOURCAR and Xcel Energy to create charging stations and more car sharing capabilities going forward.

It’s unlikely that this small act of environmental consciousness will do much to push America towards EVs, as the States has always been a bit of a challenge in that regard. However, the attempt to normalise such tech and make it more viable is the right way to go. Consumers are naturally drawn to what’s convenient, and by making sure that EV users will never run out of power, the Twin Cities might’ve just helped sell a few more people on the idea.