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Colorado partners with Utah, Nevada to develop electric vehicle charge network


Dive Brief:

  • Governors from Colorado, Utah, and Nevada this week unveiled plans to link their states via an electric vehicle charging network that will span 2,000 miles across eight highways, the Denver Business Journal reports. 
  • The hope is that a combined effort will minimize costs, ensure technological consistency, alleviate range anxiety and grow the emissions-free transportation market in those states.
  • The three states already have EV outreach programs and combine for more than 10,000 cars on the road. Electric vehicle adoption is growing, particularly on the West Coast, but so far has lagged national goals set by Obama five years ago.

Dive Insight:

Advocates for electric vehicles are increasingly realizing that widening adoption will require cohesive and collaborative solutions: alleviating concerns about electric vehicle ranges in one state does little to help a consumer on a road trip. That's led to concepts like the West Coast Green Highway, which would locate charging stations every 25 to 50 miles along Highway 5, and the U.S. Department of Transportation's national network of "alternative fuel" corridors spanning 35 states.

The announcement this week by three Western states highlights the push to connect geographically and economically-linked areas.

"This initiative recognizes that our states will continue to lead the country in the electric vehicle market," Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said in a statement. "Our residents and the millions of visitors to our states will be able to drive electric vehicles from Denver to Salt Lake City to Las Vegas—from the Rockies to the Pacific."

The charging corridor routes will include Interstates 70, 76 and 25 across Colorado; Interstates 70, 80 and 15 across Utah; and Interstates 80 and 15 across Nevada.

The three states already each have significant interest in electric vehicles. Colorado offers a $5,000 tax credit on electric vehicle purchases, has begun building charging stations and has almost 8,000 electric vehicles on the roads today. Utah currently ranks 7th in the U.S. for electric vehicle adoption, while Nevada is ranked 13th.

Nevada has more than 2,100 electric vehicles and almost 32,000 hybrid vehicles registered in the state, and has a goal to complete an electric highway system serving the entire state by 2020.

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