Colorado Springs prepares for tens of hundreds of electrical vehicles forward of Colorado Springs Information

With electric vehicles poised to increase competition from gas-powered cars, Colorado Springs Utilities is looking to install and maintain charging stations for electric vehicles that can be used across the city in destinations such as libraries, universities, shopping malls and parking garages.

Colorado Springs residents own about 2,300 electric vehicles, and that number is expected to “explode” in the next two to three years, especially as new residents move to the city from other areas such as California and Texas, said Khaled Salem, a distributed energy strategy engineer Supervisor at Colorado Springs Utilities. Electric car prices have also fallen nationally, and automakers are expected to launch many new all-electric SUV and truck models, including a Ford F-150 pickup truck, which is expected to hit the market in 2022.

Colorado residents are expected to own between 90,000 and 130,000 electric vehicles by 2030, said Jillian Jaeger, who manages the city’s electric vehicle readiness plan.

The state’s goal is to see 940,000 electric vehicles on the road across the state by 2030 in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Colorado Springs Utilities had forecast that there would be 50,000 to 300,000 electric vehicles on city streets in the next 30 years. Now that number is expected to be much higher, although projections are still ongoing, said Michael Avanzi, manager of energy planning and innovation for utilities.

The electric vehicle preparation plan the city and utilities are working on is designed to project the number of cars the city can expect over time, identify charging stations that will be needed and where to use them when making the transition to electricity, among other things should be cars.

Other utility companies are also preparing for the surge in demand for electric cars. Xcel Energy, one of the state’s two utility companies, plans to invest $ 110 million in programs and infrastructure for electric vehicles such as charging stations.

Additional charging points could help overcome one of the main problems facing EV buyers – range, said Michael Manning, general manager at Daniels Long Chevrolet. For example, the new Chevy Bolts have a range of 260 miles, which is enough to run errands around town all day without stopping for a fee, he said. However, drivers need to be aware of available charging stations on longer road trips and how weight in the car and off-road can reduce overall range, he said.

Colorado lags behind other states like California when it comes to widespread electric vehicle charging points that could reassure drivers, Manning said.

“I would like to see her at Walgreens, at Walmart,” he said.

Wilson Hitchings, a Tesla Model S owner, said he generally charges his car at home overnight and mainly relies on Tesla’s international network of Supercharger stations when traveling. The car does not require regular maintenance and has self-driving functions – it can withdraw from the garage.

“It’s the best car I’ve ever had,” said Hitchings.

Most electric car owners with access to an electrical outlet at home in Colorado Springs don’t need charging points in malls because their cars are likely to have long range, he said. But those who live in apartments and condominiums could benefit from the chargers near their workplaces, he said.

The city also needs additional level 3 chargers that can get travelers on their way quickly, said Hitchings, a member of the stakeholder committee that helps utilities prepare for electric cars.

There are about 100 public charging stations in Colorado Springs, most of which are provided by third-party providers, Avanzi said. The city could need between 7,000 and 10,000 charging stations by 2030, Jaeger said.

“We anticipate that many residents will be able to charge their electric vehicles at home, but also want to proactively provide public stations for those traveling further afield or for EV drivers who may not have a private charging facility,” she said in an email .

Utilities want to build and maintain some of the new electric charging stations that the region needs in part because they can power those charging stations and manage them well, Salem said.

Since Colorado Springs Utilities is owned by the city, the charging stations would pass the cost of the service on to the customer, which could be a market advantage, Avanzi said.

If the Colorado Springs Utilities Board, which is also Colorado Springs City Council, approves, utilities could start installing new charging stations in the second half of next year, Salem said.

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