Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper on Wednesday released broad plans to foster growth in the state’s already booming electric vehicle market, saying he believes the keys to economic development and cleaner air lie — at least in part — outside of the internal combustion engine.
“They say it takes a village,” Hickenlooper told reporters while flanked by a host of electric vehicles in downtown Denver. “Really, it takes a lack of silos to get an electric vehicle framework in place. … I think it really does a great job of capturing Colorado’s vision that we are going to have a network of fast-charging stations, we’re going to be able to address what’s sometimes referred to as ‘range anxiety.’ ”
The plan, which largely encompasses previous state electric-vehicle initiatives, calls for public-private partnerships to build out the state’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure, provide a consistent refueling system across the state and Rocky Mountain West and build new relationships to bolster investment in infrastructure.
It also calls for updating road signage so electric vehicle owners know where fast-charging stations are.
While a timeline for the goals was not shared, Hickenlooper said the original goal was to have a network of charging stations built in five years. (Colorado already has 53 fast-charging stations but could need up to 632 under a high-growth scenario, according to the plan.)
Colorado ranks in the nation’s top 10 states for electric vehicle market share and the number of electric vehicles per capita. As of August 2017, there were more than 11,000 electric vehicles in the state, and one estimate says Colorado could have nearly 1 million electric vehicles on the road come 2030.
Colorado has already been working toward becoming a more electric-vehicle friendly state.
Over the summer, the governor announced he and the governors of several nearby states were working toward building a network thousands of miles long of fast-charging stations along several interstate highways so that people could charge long distances without fear of running out of power.
“We know that transportation is our largest source of emissions,” Hickenlooper said. “We know that we can have a cleaner option. … The economic benefits are clear. It’s less expensive to drive an electric vehicle.”
He added: “We’re just getting started.”
The governor said he is hopeful whomever takes over his job next year won’t dismantle his administration’s work on electric vehicles.
“In the campaigns, they will have to speak on this,” he said. “I don’t think too many people are going to go against electric vehicles,” noting that there has been regional, bipartisan support for EVs.