More drivers starting to use city’s electric vehicle charging station | SteamboatToday.com

More drivers starting to use city’s electric vehicle charging station

Scott Franz

A Tesla charges up at the city's free charging station on 10th Street.

— The city of Steamboat Springs’ electric vehicle charging station on 10th Street has charged up electric vehicles 232 times since it came online in June 2015, according to data provided by the city Thursday.

The station has prevented about 236 gallons of gasoline from being used.

Expressed another way, the station has prevented the production of greenhouse gas emissions equal to what would have been created by an average passenger vehicle that traveled 5,034 miles, according to statistics from the Environmental Protection Agency.

City grant specialist Ginger Scott, who monitors how often the charging station is utilized, said the usage has been picking up in recent months.

"I don't know if more people are hearing about it, but it definitely seems to be getting used more," she said.

Since July 19, 78 unique drivers have used the station, which was not in service June 5 to July 18.

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Use of the station is free, but drivers must create an account before they begin charging up.

The city's station provides a faster charge than many of the private charging stations electric vehicle owners have at their homes.

Scott said the city received a $6,260 grant to help pay for the $11,400 station.

Businesses and nonprofits in Steamboat that have been considering adding an electric vehicle charging station to their parking lots have until Oct. 31 to apply for a chance to receive financial help from the state.

The Colorado Energy Office will pay up to $3,260 toward the cost of a level-2, single-port charging station, or $6,260 for a multiple port station.

The city took advantage of the state grant funding in 2015 to add a public charging station near City Hall on 10th Street that can power up two vehicles simultaneously.

City officials pursued the station to help the city meet one of the City Council's goals of being a leader in sustainability.

There are currently three public charging stations in Steamboat.

The other two are at Colorado Mountain College and in the parking garage beneath building six in Wyndham's Village at Steamboat on Pine Grove Road.

The Sheraton Steamboat Resort has a charging station available for hotel guests.

The town of Kremmling launched its own vehicle charging station a month before Steamboat.

Kremmling Town Manager Mark Campbell told the Sky-Hi News he felt the station would bring more visitors to Kremmling who might not have stopped there to shop or eat without the ability to charge their car.

Businesses and any other organizations interested in installing a public charging station can learn more about the grant opportunity by visiting cleanairfleets.org/programs/charge-ahead-colorado.

The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. on Oct. 31.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10