Eagle County is celebrating the opening of the first public electric vehicle fast charging station in the Eagle Valley at the ECO Transit Park-n-Ride lot on Chambers Road in Eagle.
Strategically placed adjacent to I-70 and other services, the ChargePoint 50-kW DC fast charge station provides an opportunity for both locals and drivers traveling long distances to charge most electric vehicles in under 20 minutes.
“While this might look like a small project, the availability of a fast charger can make a big impact for people who drive or are considering driving electric vehicles,” said Eagle County Commissioner Jeanne McQueeney. “The installation has a direct tie to the county’s strategic plan goals as well as larger community goals. Every step we take toward reducing carbon emissions has a positive effect on our environment and our economy.”
Total cost of the project was approximately $75,000. The station was installed through the support of $30,000 in grant funding from Charge Ahead Colorado, along with $20,000 in in-kind transformer and electric infrastructure upgrades from Holy Cross Energy and a contribution of $25,000 from Eagle County.
“This fast charger at the Eagle Park-n-Ride is an important, visible location along the I-70 corridor to provide access to locals and travelers alike,” said Zach Owens, Colorado Energy Office Program Manager. “Eagle County’s investment in fast charging provides a model for Colorado mountain communities to take action and help establish EV-readiness.”
In addition to environmental and air quality benefits, electric vehicles offer operational cost savings. Charging a vehicle at the new station will cost around $1 per gallon equivalent, or about one third of the fuel cost compared to a gas-powered vehicle. ChargePoint members attach a credit card to their account, and use their phone or key fob to use the station.
Communities throughout the mountain region including Aspen, Basalt, Glenwood, Frisco, Vail and Avon are also installing electric vehicle charging stations. Drivers can utilize www.PlugShare.com, www.ChargePoint.com and other phone apps to find the locations, type and availability of stations.
The two Level 2 chargers previously located at the Eagle Park-n-Ride location will be reinstalled at the county’s facility at 0020 Eagle County Drive in El Jebel. Drivers needing a Level 2 charge in Eagle can use one of the four stations located at the Eagle County Building at 500 Broadway.
Expansion of electric vehicle charging stations and DC fast charging stations is a strategy outlined in the Climate Action Plan for the Eagle County Community, and supports a larger trend in electric vehicle sales growth nationally. There were 20,000 electric vehicles in Colorado and more than one million on U.S. roads as of October 2018.