CHARGE EV invests in ZEF Energy 

CHARGE EV invests in ZEF Energy 


January 7, 2021

ZEF Energy Inc. (Edina, Minn.) has added CHARGE EV, LLC, a collaboration of Dairyland and 28 electric cooperatives, to its list of investors.  

ZEF Energy’s mission is to support a reliable, low emissions transition to electric vehicles. “CHARGE EV’s investment is not only important for growing our business, but it also demonstrates their belief in the ZEF Energy’s ZEFNET utility platform and ZEFNET-enabled Level 2 and Level 3 chargers,” said Matthew Blackler, CEO of ZEF Energy. “The EV market is taking off and having our chargers easily accessible will create a better EV driver experience. We believe connecting drivers with their serving utility is essential to achieving the beneficial load growth dream,” said Blackler.   

ZEF Energy has successfully worked with electric co-ops and municipalities since 2014. The company has won numerous grants and contracts across the Midwest, including the U.S. Department of Energy’s Michigan to Montana (M2M) Interstate 94 Corridor project, which will install ZEF Energy chargers along the I-94 corridor. ZEF has the largest installed base of open standard DC Chargers in the Midwest.  The ZEFNET platform is a turn-key approach to managing residential and commercial charger load and allows utilities to gather revenue grade metering and conduct precision load control.   

“As cooperatives, we align with ZEF Energy’s vision of the EV industry. Our collaboration further demonstrates we can build innovative and forward-thinking solutions in the Midwest,” said Shannon Clark, CEO & GM of Richland Electric Cooperative, a Dairyland member based in Richland Center, Wis. “The ZEF investment allows us to have input into our needs as utilities in the EV market, and ZEF is well positioned because they offer both hardware and software.”

CHARGE EV is a group of 29 electric cooperatives, including Dairyland and its members,  located in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Together, they are working to build a national EV charging brand powered by co-ops and investing in EV-focused companies. The network includes over 30 Level 2 and Level 3 charging stations. 

CHARGE EV is planning for future growth in EVs and wants to alleviate “range anxiety,” which is the concern some people have about traveling in an EV without a place to charge their vehicle. “Our goal is to provide EV owners peace of mind driving from Iowa to northern Wisconsin, or from Minnesota to Illinois, knowing there are co-op powered chargers along their route. That will give people confidence to consider an EV and encourage growth in the EV market,” said Jeff Springer, Dairyland Manager of Innovation and Efficient Electrification. 

Learn more at

Page Features: