Western states plan network of car-charging stations

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a memorandum of understanding with the governors of six neighboring states Wednesday to create a regional electric vehicle plan for the intermountain West.

To start, the plan calls for installing fast-charging stations along all of the interstates that run through Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Idaho, Montana and Nevada.

That part of the plan is designed to reduce so-called range anxiety, a term used to describe motorists who are fearful of purchasing electric vehicles because they won’t be able to drive them very far out of their hometowns.

“This initiative encourages infrastructure plans that allow people with electric vehicles to visit and recreate in Wyoming,” said Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead. “Strategically spaced charging stations will allow these visitors to enjoy the same independence as traditional vehicles.”

Some states, such as Utah and Nevada, have already installed numerous charging stations around their states.

Currently, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is working on a plan to do something similar in the state, using money from the Volkswagen settlement fund, of which Colorado is to get about $69 million.

That plan includes installing charging stations along Interstate 70, linking Grand Junction and Rifle to what would be a network of stations around the state and region.

The governors said they hope not only to encourage clean technology, but also to help drive economic development through the sale of electric vehicles and encouraging more tourism.

“Through this collaboration, we will drive economic growth and promote our outdoor recreation opportunities across our states,” Hickenlooper said. “Our residents and the millions of visitors to our states will be able to drive electric vehicles from Denver to Las Vegas, from Santa Fe to Helena.”


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