2011 Chevrolet Volt using Level 2 240-Volt charging station in Vacaville, CaliforniaEnlarge Photo
If you’ve been reading GreenCarReports for a while, you’ll know that Colorado loves its green cars, with more than double the national average of hybrid cars registered there and some pretty big tax credits available to those buying a plug-in car.
Now, thanks to a change in law in the mountainous state, companies wanting to install charging stations and sell electricity to electric car drivers can do so, for just $5,000.
Previously, under Colorado law, only utility companies were allowed to sell electricity, meaning that any public charging stations had to be either owned by the utility company, or providing free electricity.
The new law, due to take effect in August, will make it possible for anyone to resell electricity, provided they file the correct forms and pay the $5000 registration fee.
Sponsored by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, the change in law is designed to encourage entrepreneurs with existing businesses in Colorado to offer pay-as-you-use charging stations in their existing parking lots without worrying about the cost of providing free electricity.
Eaton CHAdeMO DC quick charging station, Mitsubishi headquarters, Cypress, CA
Eaton CHAdeMO DC quick charging station, Mitsubishi headquarters, Cypress, CAEnlarge Photo
“It’s a matter of putting them out in front of your business and saying: ‘Here is the station!’ It’s got a credit-card reader on it -- very simple -- just like the gas pump,” Dave Altman, regional development and government sales chief for charging station manufacturer Eaton Corp. told the Denver Post.
The change in law will also benefit the federally-backed Fostering Electric Vehicle Expansion in the Rockies -- or FEVER -- which is already reviewing tax incentives for electric cars and ways to make the installation of home charging stations simpler for electric car owners.
While most existing electric car drivers find a single charge at home is enough to power a whole day of driving, the change in Colorado law should encourage electric vehicle adoption among mainstream car drivers.
Unlike early adopters, mainstream buyers are more likely to suffer range anxiety, worrying about what happens if an electric car runs out of charge away from home.
By encouraging the installation of more charging stations, the state of Colorado is also reassuring those who have yet to buy an electric car that there are plenty of places to refuel in Colorado if needed.