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

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper announced on October 4 that he and six other governors in western states have agreed to develop a network of fast-charge stations in the region.

Now Arizona has signed on to the memorandum of understanding to develop the fast-charging network; that announcement came last Friday.

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

The pact among what is now a total of eight states expands on a previous three-state commitment by Colorado, Nevada, and Utah for a 2,000-mile charging infrastructure across the three states.

Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, and Wyoming joined the three other states in the October 4 memorandum of understanding, and Arizona followed two weeks later.

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.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This post was originally published on October 10, 2017. It was updated on October 23 to reflect the addition of Arizona to the original seven states in the agreement.

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

At the announcement of the seven-state pact, Governor Hickenlooper called the agreement 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.

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The plan agreed to by all eight states 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, and identify ways to incorporate charging stations into future building development.

They will also encourage automakers to stock more electric cars in the states; and minimize inconsistency between charging infrastructure.

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

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

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

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.

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A statement released by the Sierra Club at the time of the announcement said, "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," it continued.

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


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