Governors see ‘Rockies to Pacific’ EV charging network
The governors of Colorado, Utah and Nevada announced Monday that they will work together over the next year to develop complementary plans for building an electric vehicle charging network across key highway corridors in their states.
The corridors will include Interstates 70, 76 and 25 across Colorado; Interstates 70, 80 and 15 across Utah; and Interstates 80 and 15 across Nevada. In total, the charging network will connect more than 2,000 miles of highway.
“This initiative recognizes that our states will continue to lead the country in the electric vehicle market,” said Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. “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.”
“Regional collaboration is a key driver to fueling our future transportation options,” said Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert. “By working together, we can minimize costs, ensure technological consistency and serve as laboratories of innovation.”
Said Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, “The state of Nevada has electrified many of its interstates and highways, which has increased access to our open roads and promoted tourism and recreation in our rural communities. This collaboration will allow more families, tourists and travelers the ability to experience the freedom and beauty of the great American West.”
This regional electric charging station network will address “range anxiety,” the concern that recharging may not be available for long-distance travel or trips outside of major cities. The electrification of major regional corridors is expected to facilitate the vehicle market transformation and allow smaller communities to join the regional system.
Colorado, Utah and Nevada each has significant electric vehicle market potential. In particular:
• Colorado offers a $5,000 tax credit on electric vehicle purchases, one of the best incentives in the country. Colorado has also already begun building charging stations through the Charge Ahead Colorado program. There are nearly 8,000 electric vehicles on the road in Colorado today, compared with fewer than 100 in 2011.
• Utah ranks seventh in the U.S. for electric vehicle adoption. The state also recently unveiled its Mighty Five Corridor initiative, which will make electric vehicle transportation to its national parks possible, through the installation of DC fast-charging stations along key interstates.
• Nevada is ranked 13th in the nation for electric vehicles with 2,104 EVs and 31,937 hybrids registered in the state. The Silver State has a goal to complete an electric highway system serving the entire state by 2020. To support this effort and promote greater connectivity between neighboring states, Nevada has received acceptance from the Federal Highway Administration on designation of four strategic corridors within its borders as Alternative Fuel Corridors, including Interstates 80 and 15 and US 95 and 50.
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UPDATE: Both westbound lanes and one eastbound lane of Interstate 70, according to a 12:20 a.m. update from Garfield County.