Seven Western states sign deal to expand electric-car charging networks


ebee streelight charging station

ebee streelight charging station

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The Western United States will soon see an electric-car charging network covering 5,000 miles of roadways.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper announced that he and six other governors in western states have agreed to develop a network of fast-charge stations in the region.

The announcement expands upon Colorado, Nevada, and Utah's previous commitment for a 2,000-mile charging infrastructure across the three states.

DON'T MISS: Colorado, Nevada, Utah to collaborate on electric-car charging network

Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, and Wyoming joined the three other states in signing a memorandum of understanding to develop the fast-charging network.

In total, the charging infrastructure will span 11 U.S. interstate highways.

Colorado identified Interstates 25, 70, and 76 as initial starting points for the network of fast chargers, reports The Denver Post.

Old cabin near Twin Lakes, along Colorado's Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway

Old cabin near Twin Lakes, along Colorado's Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway

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Governor Hickenlooper called the announcement a "tipping point" for electric-car adoption rates.

“You put in these charging stations across the West and I think you really do end up with a different kind of future," he said.

Colorado has 10,000 electric vehicles registered in the state and recently rolled out a $5,000 state tax credit for electric car purchases this year.

READ THIS: Colorado simplifies electric-car incentive, but axes used models

The plan all seven states agreed to includes five areas each will collaborate on to ensure cohesiveness across the region.

Each state will develop practices to encourage electric car ownership; develop charging station operation standards; identify ways to incorporate charging stations into future building development; encourage automakers to stock more electric cars in the states; and minimize inconsistency between charging infrastructure.

On the political spectrum, it's a win in Colorado since the project requires no additional funding.

2015 Nissan Leaf, Denver, Colorado, Mar 2016 [photo: owner Andrew Ganz]

2015 Nissan Leaf, Denver, Colorado, Mar 2016 [photo: owner Andrew Ganz]

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In fact, Volkswagen's diesel scandal mitigation will be the largest source of funding—$68.7 million comes from the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal settlement.

Naturally, environmentalist groups applauded the action taken by the seven states.

CHECK OUT: Dealer brings 'forbidden fruit' used electric cars to Boulder, Colorado

The Sierra Club released its own statement following the announcement saying, "Coupled with the West's transition to clean energy, electric vehicles offer the promise of 100 percent clean transportation as we move forward. The Sierra Club applauds this bipartisan group of Governors for accelerating our transition to a 21st-century clean transportation system."

The project doesn't have an estimated completion date, but Gov. Hickenlooper said he will encourage suppliers to install flexible technology to ensure the charging stations are not obsolete in three to five years.

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