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Electric Vehicle Ride and Drive set for Saturday

Steamboat Springs Parks and Recreation employees, from front, Jonah Gumpenberger, Braden White and Timo Kaempfen show of the City of Steamboat Springs new electric fleet — which includes two electric bikes and an electric utility vehicle that will be used by staff for a number of different purposes.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today.

Sign-up slots are going fast, so residents interested in test driving a Tesla 3 or Mustang Mach-E fully electric vehicle on Saturday, May 14, should sign up just as fast as the powerful vehicles can accelerate from a full stop.

The free educational Electric Vehicle Ride and Drive event will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Howelsen Rodeo Ground parking lot. The community event will offer the opportunity for test drives and rides in multiple brands of electric vehicles, rides on two brands of electric bikes and the chance to ask questions of local drivers displaying their electric vehicles.

Scheduled rain or shine, the event is sponsored by the City of Steamboat Springs, Yampa Valley Electric Association and nonprofit groups Yampa Valley Sustainability Council, Northern Colorado Clean Cities and Carbondale-based Clean Energy Economy for the Region.



Test drive slots for the Tesla Model 3, Ford Mustang Mach-E, BMW iX sports activity vehicle, Mini Electric, and Nissan Leaf are available by reservation online at Steamboatsprings.net/ev. Participants must have a valid driver’s license.

Winnie DelliQuadri, the city’s special projects manager, said the most recent Ride and Drive in October 2021 was successful with approximately 80 test drives and others in attendance. The current co-sponsored outreach is part of the city’s overall Electric Vehicle Readiness Plan completed in 2021. The goal of the plan is to identify barriers to and strategies for supporting electric vehicle adoption throughout the city and the Yampa Valley.



DelliQuadri said the city is making progress on adding electric vehicles to the municipal fleet with a new all-electric Chevy Bolt due to arrive in June. The city installed a new charging station for fleet cars behind Centennial Hall last summer, but the new Bolt has been on back order.

The City of Steamboat Springs Parks and Recreation Department received its first all-electric utility terrain vehicle early this year and has two more Toro brand UTVs on order for late May, said Aaron Stafford, city parks supervisor. The department’s trails staff has two electric bikes for use that arrived last week.

The electric vehicle charging stations at Howelsen Hill rodeo parking lot will be the site of the community EV Ride and Drive free event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 14.
Suzie Romig\Steamboat Pilot & Today

“We are slowly starting to reduce our UTV gas-powered units and replace them with the Toro Workman GTX,” Stafford said. “It’s what the parks division can do to help subsidize our fuel use and reduce our carbon footprint.”

DelliQuadri said next on the readiness list for the city is adding two electric vehicle charging stations at the Stockbridge Transit Center on Lincoln Avenue.

YVEA staff will be bringing the electric co-op’s Tesla 3 for test drives Saturday while helping to educate about rebates available for purchases of electric equipment through the YVEA Energy Hero program. Rebates include $250 for a Level 2 residential vehicle chargers, $150 for an electric bicycle, $150 for electric lawn maintenance equipment from mowers to chainsaws, and $150 for a corded or battery-powered snow blower.

Local electric vehicle owners will be on hand with their vehicles to answer questions. Other interested volunteers or owners can contact Paul Bony, YVSC energy and transportation director, at paul@yvsc.org. For people who cannot attend Saturday’s event, Northern Colorado Clean Cities offers free individualized electric vehicle advising sessions that can be set up by emailing Spotocek.nccc@gmail.com or calling 970-439-2926.

NCCC also is hosting a Charge Ahead Colorado Grant information webinar at 6 p.m. on May 25, for the current round of statewide electric vehicle charging station grants with applications open May 23 through June 24. The online workshop will focus on how to apply for the Colorado Energy Office grant that offers up to 80% funding for public electric vehicle charging stations.

Although the number of EV charging stations in Steamboat continues to grow gradually, parts of Routt County such as Hayden and Oak Creek do not yet have public charging stations, according to PlugShare.com.


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