Electric Vehicles are becoming increasingly more prevalent on the streets of Colorado. In 2013, more than 1,500 electric vehicles were sold in Colorado, up from about 830 in 2012. In 2014, with new incentives and a statewide focus on diversifying transportation fuels, that number is expected to continue rising. With more than 2,000 electric vehicles (or EVs) currently on the road, the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project ranks Colorado at the top of Southwestern states that have done the most to promote electric vehicles.
Public electric vehicle charging stations are also becoming more common. Colorado currently has 145 public charging stations, up from 79 at the beginning of 2013. In the month of April alone, two Level 2 chargers were installed in the Denver Civic Center parking lot, another Level 2 charger was installed in downtown Basalt, and two Envision Solar EV ARC™ standalone Solar Charging Stations were installed at the East Boulder Community Center.
Colorado offers incentives and tax credits for the purchase of electric vehicles and installation of charging stations. The Alternative Fuel & Advanced Vehicle Technology Tax Credit offers up to $6,000 for alternative fuel vehicles such as electric vehicles. HB14-1326, which is expected to be signed into law this month, would increase the cap on those tax credits for electric trucks. Charge Ahead Colorado, supported jointly by the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) and the Regional Air Quality Council (RAQC), provides grants to support the installation of electric vehicle charging stations or the purchase of EVs. The RAQC provides grants for fleet EVs or EV charging stations in the Denver metro area. CEO provides grants for EV charging stations throughout the rest of the state. Through Charge Ahead Colorado, the RAQC and CEO have committed to fund 93 stations to date.
These incentives and credits make it possible for government, business, and individual Coloradans to adopt alternative fuel technologies. The goal is to encourage the adoption of alternative fuel vehicles in Colorado to lead a cheaper, cleaner, domestic transportation future.
Two types of electric vehicles widely available: Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), which are propelled only by electricity that is stored in a battery and used by an electric motor, and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs), which can be propelled by electricity alone or can use gasoline to extend the range of the vehicle. Both can be charged by plugging into an electricity source, so houses become the new ‘gas station’.
There are many resources available to Coloradans who want to switch to an alternative fuel vehicle. Refuel Colorado is an effort by the Colorado Energy Office to provide businesses and consumers the information they need to assess the pros and cons of alternative fuel vehicles. Refuel Colorado Fleets is a related effort by the Colorado Energy Office and local transportation experts to provide fleets the information they need to determine appropriate alternative fuels for their vehicles. Electric Ride Colorado offers information on vehicle models as well as tips for how to prepare for your switch. Through Charge Ahead Colorado, you can find the application for the Plug-in Electric Vehicle and Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Grants, as well as examples of successful submissions.