State funds 4 new electric vehicle charging stations in Yampa Valley | SteamboatToday.com

State funds 4 new electric vehicle charging stations in Yampa Valley

Two all-electric Chevy Bolts charge at the Level 2 charging station on Tenth Street in May 2018. Two more electric vehicle charging stations are slated to be installed in Steamboat in the next two years. (Photo by Suzie Romig)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — More electric vehicle charging stations are coming to the Yampa Valley.

Two public charging stations soon will be installed in Steamboat Springs, at Alpine Bank and another unannounced location. Charging stations also will be installed in yet-to-be-announced locations in Craig and Dinosaur.

“This ensures that travelers can get across Colorado seamlessly,” said Suzie Romig, energy outreach director at Yampa Valley Sustainability Council. “It’s good for tourism. It’s good for people to have confidence in buying an electric vehicle.”

Electric vehicles produce no tailpipe carbon emissions and operate more efficiently than gas-powered engines, according to the U. S. Department of Energy Fuels Data Center.

Steamboat is currently home to four public electric vehicle charging stations, which are at Colorado Mountain College, on Tenth Street near City Hall, in the Gondola Square parking structure and in the Sheraton Steamboat Resort parking garage. Right now, these are the only public charging stations in the Yampa Valley. All of these are Level 2 chargers, which typically charge an electric vehicle battery in about four to six hours.

Alpine Bank is looking to add a fifth Level 2 charger. Senior Vice President David Morris — who also chairs the bank’s sustainability organization, the Green Team — said he isn’t sure when the charger will be available for use in its parking lot. Alpine Bank is installing the station using grant funds from Charge Ahead Colorado, a state grant.

“Electric vehicles and electric vehicle infrastructures have really profound positive effects on the community. Electric vehicles, when you add the cost of the vehicle and electricity over time, cost less to run than traditional gasoline vehicles,” Morris said.

Romig explained that certain maintenance needed on gas-powered cars, such as oil changes, isn’t needed to maintain an electric vehicle.

“Consistent with the Green Team theme of helping our customers and community save money, when you make an investment in an electric vehicle, and you have access to the charging station infrastructure, it costs you less and saves you money,” Morris said.

Romig said the Alpine Bank charging station’s position nearby the shopping and dining in Central Park Plaza makes it a great new location.

The additional chargers in Steamboat, Craig and Dinosaur will be faster Level 3 charging stations, which charge up to 80 percent of a battery’s capacity in 30 minutes. They’re expected to be installed by late 2019 or early 2020, according to a Colorado Energy Office news release.

The charging stations are funded through ALT Fuels Colorado, a grant through the Colorado Energy Office. Level 3 stations also will be placed in Vail, Granby, Rifle and Estes Park.

Tesla is also slated to place a Tesla Supercharger in the Steamboat Springs area. According to the company’s website, Tesla hoped to open the Supercharger station in 2018.

To reach Eleanor Hasenbeck, call 970-871-4210, email ehasenbeck@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @elHasenbeck.


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