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Colorado to receive $57 million in federal funding to build charging stations for electric vehicles

Colorado to receive $57 million in federal funding to build charging stations for electric vehicles
Posted at 6:59 AM, Feb 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-11 22:57:36-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — Are electric vehicles the wave of the future? Yesterday, the Biden Administration rolled out a plan to allocate nearly $5 billion over five years to build a national electric vehicle charging network. It's also known as the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Plan.

Money from the plan will soon be coming to Colorado.

It's all part of the bipartisan infrastructure package under the Biden Administration. The goal is to make it easier for owners of electric vehicles to charge up and drive longer distances across the country and in the state.

Colorado will be given approximately $8.4 million in the first year, and $57 million over five years. That federal funding will go toward building electric vehicle charging stations within one mile along seven Colorado corridors, including I-25, I-70, I-76, US-40, US-50, US-160, and US-285.

In Colorado, sales for electric vehicles have grown considerably. In December 2021, 12% of new vehicle sales in the state were electric vehicles, which is a record-high.

With more models coming to the market, Michael King, with the Colorado Department of Transportation says there is a lot of momentum behind EV'S in urban and rural areas.

"We think it's really important that there be charging in all parts of the state. Our goal is to have a complete statewide network that allows everybody to get where they want to go in an electric vehicle. And rural Coloradans deserve all of the same level of access to EV transition as people in other parts of the state," said King, who's the assistant director of Electrification and Energy at CDOT's office of innovative mobility.

Every state is required to submit their EV infrastructure plan by August 1. CDOT says the first round of funding will likely start arriving in the fall, and building these charging stations will get underway by spring of 2023.

With efforts like ReCharge Colorado, the state is ahead of the game when it comes to planning for these EV charging stations. The 2020 Colorado Electric Vehicle Plan already has many of the same information and elements, as the federal plan would have.

In 2018, the Colorado Energy Office came up with a plan to install 34 fast-charging stations throughout the state. 19 of the 34 fast-charging stations are up and running, and the rest will be operational by the end of the year.

The $57 million in federal funding over the next five years, allocated to Colorado, will help build even more fast charging-stations for electric vehicles in other parts of the state.

"We think Colorado is well-positioned compared to some other states. We've already been doing this work for years. So when the federal funds become available, we already have a lot of our planning done, and we also have identified a lot of the gaps that we still need to fill that those federal dollars will help us electrify," said King.

According to CDOT, there are nearly 50,000 registered electric vehicles in the state. CDOT is predicting nearly 1 million EV's will be registered in Colorado by 2030.

King also mentioned that transportation is the number one source of greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants in Colorado and the United States.

"Electrification of vehicles is a critical tool in addressing those environmental and health issues. It seems clear that electric vehicles are the vehicles of the future, and charging stations are needed," said King.

Information in this article was provided by CDOT and the Colorado Air Pollution Control Division with the Department of Public Health & Environment.