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Thanks to a grant from the Colorado Energy Office’s Charge Ahead Colorado program, a new electric vehicle charging station has been installed on the west side of the Eagle County Building in Eagle. The station is available free to the public on a first-come, first-served basis and is intended to encourage the use of alternative fuel vehicles along the I-70 and U.S. Hwy 6 corridors.
A “plugging-in” ceremony with the Eagle County Commissioners will take place at 11:45 a.m. Monday, Dec. 8. Staff from Mountain Chevrolet will be on site to offer test drives of the new 2015 Chevy Volt. Light refreshments will be served.
Total cost of the project was $8,700, with $6,260 coming from grant funds. Installation of the charging station was completed with assistance from the county’s Facilities and Engineering departments.
“Charge Ahead Colorado, designed to alleviate ‘range anxiety’ for electric vehicle drivers and expand the charging infrastructure in the state, is one of three programs the Colorado Energy Office offers to help diversify the state’s transportation fuels portfolio,” said Wes Maurer, Transportation Program Manager at the Colorado Energy Office. “Through these and other efforts, Colorado is now nearing 200 publicly available charging stations statewide – up from 79 at the program’s inception in 2013.”
According to Eagle County Environmental Sustainability Coordinator John Gitchell, the use of electric cars reduces harmful air pollutants while promoting energy security by decreasing the need for petroleum. “We hope that an increase in public charging stations will help encourage more people in our community to invest in clean and efficient vehicles,” said Gitchell.
On average, it takes five hours to fully charge an electric vehicle at a public station or up to 10 hours at home, depending on battery size and power supply. There is currently no time limit at the county’s charging station; however, limits could be considered in the future based on demand.
Eagle County’s station is listed as one of five public places to charge in the Eagle Valley on www.plugshare.com. “In addition to the environmental considerations, electric vehicle charging stations can provide economic benefits,” Gitchell said. “The convenient location of our station near downtown Eagle allows for easy access to restaurants and shops, as well as to county government services.”
A full charge costs approximately $1.50 in electricity, so while the station could potentially increase the county’s electric bill by up to $500 per year, it reflects Eagle County’s overall commitment to its Actively Green “15 x ‘15” environmental policy. The initiative seeks to reduce energy, fuels, water and paper 15 percent by 2015 while supporting increased recycling, adoption of renewable energy sources and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
For more information on the charging station or 15 x ’15, contact Gitchell at 970-328-8766.