Colorado, Nevada, & Utah to Develop Interstate EV Charging Network


Photo-illustration: Pixabay

An electric vehicle charging network covering the major travel corridors of the states of Colorado, Nevada, and Utah will be developed by a coalition of the governors of the states in question, going by a joint public announcement from the group.

The plan is for the 3 governors to work together in 2017 to develop complementary plans for the development of an electric vehicle (EV) charging network through the 3 states — specifically, for the development of a charging network along “Interstates 70, 76 and 25 across Colorado; Interstates 70, 80, and 15 across Utah; and Interstates 80 and 15 across Nevada.”

The plans call for the charging network to eventually connect over 2,000 miles of highly traveled highway.

“This initiative recognizes that our states will continue to lead the country in the electric vehicle market,” stated Colorado Governor 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.”

The Governor of Utah, Gary R Herbert, provided a complementary statement: “Regional collaboration is a key driver to fueling our future transportation options. By working together, we can minimize costs, ensure technological consistency, and serve as laboratories of innovation.”

The move is part of a broader push in the states in question to incentivize the adoption and use of electric vehicles. Colorado, for instance, currently offers unmatched incentives (as far as the US goes) — with a $5,000 tax rebate being on offer for the purchase of an electric vehicle. That’s a tax rebate by the way, not a credit — meaning that even if you don’t have a $5,000 tax liability in the state, your vehicle purchase price can still be reduced by $5,000.

While incentives like that certainly don’t hurt, the reality is that another primary barrier to wider electric vehicle adoption is currently lack of charging infrastructure — and, in particular, fast-charging infrastructure. The new announcement and plans show that the governors of Nevada, Colorado, and Utah, are aware of this. (Obviously, the notes above are for electric cars in general — with Tesla, charging infrastructure isn’t much of a barrier but the barrier to adoption is basically high purchase prices).