‘Electric Nation’ Project Gives Red Lake New Electric Vehicles
By Matthew Freeman
On Friday, the Native Sun Community Power Development handed over five Ford F-150 Lightnings and four Volkswagen ID.4s to the Red Lake Nation as part of their Electric Nation project.
The Native Sun Community Power Development is a Native-led nonprofit organization that promotes energy efficiency, renewable energy, and equitable energy transition through education, workforce training, and demonstrations. The Electric Nation project utilizes United States Department of Energy funding to increase access to electric vehicles and their charging stations, thus providing Native communities with equitable access to clean, affordable transportation along with economic and environmental advantages uniquely created by clean energy technology.
Native Sun provided the vehicles to Red Lake so the tribe can put the savings they earn from the EVs back into their community. They also wanted to know how the vehicles would fare in colder climates.
“We wanted to get some real-world testing, so we wanted to get these electric vehicles out into the public and really test them,” said Native Sun Executive Director Robert Blake. “So, what better way to go ahead and test them in a place like the Red Lake Nation where they’re going to be used every day, and this data is going to be on the Department of Energy website, where it’s going to be then filtered so the entire country can see how these vehicles are standing against the brutal cold of the northland of Minnesota.
The end goal of Electric Nation is to connect tribes from across the Midwest, like Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, through an electric vehicle network. More information on the program can be found on the project’s website.