Getting juiced

Getting juiced

It’s about to get a whole lot easier to juice electric vehicles. This week, the City of Durango pledged $10,997 to help finance the city’s first-ever electric vehicle DC fast-charging station. The DC station, which will be located in the Durango Transit Center parking, will allow up to two vehicles to fully charge simultaneously, in approximately 20 minutes. The new stations will be located next to the City’s existing Level 2 EV charging stations, which by comparison take roughly four hours to deliver a full charge.

The station is expected to be operational by June with a total cost of $306,578 with additional funding coming from the Colorado Energy Office, La Plata Electric Association and Charge Point, a California-based EV charging infrastructure company.

“With transportation accounting for approximately 28 percent of community-wide greenhouse gas emissions, supporting the widespread adoption of electric vehicles alongside a transition to clean electricity will be critical to achieving the city’s adopted emissions reduction goals,” Imogen Ainsworth, City of Durango Sustainability Coordinator, said in a statement.

In addition to the new fast-charging Durango stations, LPEA also partnered with the Town of Bayfield to install a Level 2 station there as well. Located in the Bayfield Town Hall parking lot, half a mile from Highway 160, the station allows up to two vehicles to charge simultaneously and can deliver a full charge in approximately four hours.

The stations are part of a network of charging “corridors” developed across the state by the Colorado Energy Office in the hopes of making electric vehicles a more reliable and convenient option. Right now, one of the biggest hurdles to electric vehicles in Colorado is the so-called “range anxiety” due to a lack of charging stations.

The City and LPEA are also working together to develop an “EV Readiness Plan” to help people make the switch to electric vehicles. The plan includes EV charging infrastructure, LPEA fleet electrification and public adoption of EVs. 

“This project hits many of LPEA’s operational objectives by supporting our community, reducing emissions, and boosting beneficial electrification,” LPEA CEO Jessica Matlock said. “To support the growth of the EV market, we must first start with the infrastructure.”

As of Jan. 1, nearly 33,000 EVs were registered in Colorado. The Colorado Energy Office predicts the state will have more than 800,000 EVs on the road by 2030, or a 12 percent market share.               

Community members are invited to share their thoughts on electric vehicles via a short survey at DurangoGov.org/VirtualCityHall 

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