Eight US governors are poised to significantly expand the EV charging infrastructure in their states. Colorado governor John Hickenlooper told the National Governors Association at its annual Energy Innovation Summit in Denver recently that Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and Wyoming will band together to build EV charging stations along 11 major transportation corridors that link their states together.
Colorado, Utah, and Nevada had already agreed to cooperate on charging infrastructure. Now four more states have joined the coalition, bringing the total number of miles covered by the plan from 2,000 to 5,000. Over 20,000 electric cars are now on the road in those seven states, half of them in Colorado. The Centennial State has the highest EV incentive in the US — $5,000 — and is the only state to extend its electric car incentive program to used EV buyers.
“This is an investment. Not just an investment of the future, but an investment in the brand of the Mountain West,” Hickenlooper said. “It’s about making us a hub for clean-energy innovation.”
Hickenlooper says of the Regional Electric Vehicle West Plan, “Really this is just a tipping point.” “You put in these charging stations across the West and I think you really do end up with a different kind of future.” The Plan seeks to:
- Coordinate station locations to maximize use and minimize inconsistency between charging infrastructure.
- Develop practices and procedures that will encourage more people to adopt electric vehicles, including addressing “range anxiety.”
- Develop operating standards for charging stations.
- Explore ways to incorporate EV charging stations in the planning and development processes.
- Encourage automakers to stock a variety of electric vehicles in participating states.
- Collaborate on funding and finding opportunities for the network.
The governor’s office has said no new funding will be sought to spur development of the network in Colorado. The most notable source of existing funding in the state comes from the $68.7 million Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal settlement.
And how much will all this cost? Not as much as you might think, thanks to the money coming available soon from the fund Volkswagen has agreed to set up as a result of diesel emissions cheating scandal. Some of that money will be used to attract private companies to build the 50 or more DC fast charging facilities along highways in Colorado. Each station is expected to cost at least $150,000.
Hickenlooper said governments will have to pressure vendors to provide technology that is flexible and conforms with existing or emerging industry standards to ensure the stations aren’t obsolete three to five years down the road. Tesla currently has the largest charging network in America but its facilities cannot be used by drivers of other cars.
No timeline has been established for when the implementation of the plan to begin, although Colorado’s governor does say, “Certainly, if Utah is building their stations faster than we are, I’m going to ask our people why.”
Virginia is also looking to spend some of that Volkswagen cash. That state has asked for proposals to construct EV charging infrastructure worth about $14 million along its highways, according to WHSV Channel 3 News. The proposals are due in early November.
Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore said in a statement that the project is designed to jump start the adoption of electrical cars and generate more private investment in electric vehicle technology within Virginia.
Source: The Denver Post