ELECTRIFYING THE VALLEY
Story by staff, photos by William Woody
Electric vehicles are the future, and the infrastructure
is being put in place throughout the valley
to ensure they all have a place to fill up.
Colorado has a goal to see 1 million electric vehicles on the roads by 2030, and while it might take a little longer for the phenomenon to reach our valley in an everyday sense, the frequency with which you see them on the roads in the valley will likely increase when different options become available, especially the Ford F-150 Electric, the GMC Hummer EV SUT as well as trucks from Tesla, Rivian, and Bollinger. (If speed is your thing, there really is no comparison; electric vehicles make the combustion engine look like the centuries-old technology it is).
With this increase in the number of electric vehicles inevitable, the infrastructure to ensure these vehicles can stop in our valley (and spend money while they wait for their vehicles to charge) is already being put in place.
And while not all electric vehicles are Teslas, it is worth nothing that Teslas are luxury cars, and so it should come as no surprise that studies have found that the average household income of a Tesla Model X owner is over $140,000 per year.
Back in October last year, ground was broken for Montrose’s first DC fast charging station. On the corner of North First Street and North Uncompahgre Avenue, and a block from Main Street, the charging station has eight Tesla Superchargers and two ChargePoint Dual Platform fast chargers. There are also free-to-use electric vehicle charging stations at the public parking lot near Centennial Plaza at 501 S. First Street, at Montrose Memorial Hospital, and the Montrose Community Recreation Center. Thanks to the high-speed charging station in Montrose, the valley is now part of one of the Colorado Energy Office’s fast-charging electric vehicle corridors.
Elsewhere in the valley, there is a charging station at the City of Delta office on 111 West Third Street, one at Ridgway Town Hall at 201 North Railroad Street, and at KJW Distillers on Main Street in Ouray. There are planes for more in Ouray that will hopefully be up and running sometime this summer.
Electric vehicles are not without their critics, of course, and the main criticism seems to be that they use electricity that is generated by burning fossil fuels. While this is undeniably true, it is worth noting that according to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, almost all U.S. electricity is produced from domestic sources, including coal, nuclear, natural gas, and renewable sources which offers the United States a greater diversity of fuel choices and reduces the reliance on petroleum which makes the country vulnerable to price spikes and supply disruptions.
Also, according to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, in Colorado annual emissions for gasoline vehicles are more than double that of electric vehicles based on how we generate our electricity. Electric vehicles also don’t directly contribute to climate change and smog through emissions.
Park at a Park
More good news for lovers of electric vehicles and our public lands came recently when electric adventure vehicle company Rivian announced they had come to a partnership agreement with Colorado Parks and Wildlife to install at least two state-of-the-art 11.5 kW Level 2 chargers in up to 50 CPW locations.
“While we encourage people to connect with Colorado’s outdoors, we all have an obligation to our lands, waters and wildlife to recreate responsibly and monitor how our increased outdoor activities impact the places we play. The installation of EV charging stations at state parks aligns with our agency’s goal to expand park facilities based on the evolving needs of park users and our ongoing efforts to balance outdoor recreation opportunities with mindful conservation,” said CPW Director Dan Prenzlow of the partnership with Rivian.
Locate the charging station nearest you with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fueling Station Locator.