Electric vehicle drivers will be able to get a fast charge in Durango early this summer, connecting the city to a growing statewide network of fast-charging corridors.
Durango City Council approved about $11,000 in funding for the station this week. It will be Durango’s first-ever DC fast-charging station, offering drivers shorter wait times to charge up for longer driving distances. City leaders hope it brings more visitors to town while helping with local adoption of electric vehicles.
“I am very excited about this,” said Kim Baxter, mayor pro tem, during Tuesday’s City Council meeting. “I think this is the wave of the future. ... It’s a benefit to our communities as well as people visiting.”
The Colorado Energy Office is creating fast-charging corridors to help make electric vehicles a more reliable and convenient option for locals and visitors, according to a Durango news release.
As of Jan. 1, nearly 33,000 electric vehicles were registered in Colorado. The Colorado Energy Office predicts the state will have more than 800,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2030, representing a 12% market share, the release said.
Durango’s fast-charging station will allow up to two vehicles to charge simultaneously, delivering a full charge in about 20 minutes. By comparison, the Level 2 electric vehicle charging station takes about four hours to deliver a full charge.
The station will be located in the Durango Transit Center parking lot next to two of the existing Level 2 chargers. The city is still figuring out its cost structure for users.
“We should take every opportunity to take advantage of the installation of a charging station in whatever form,” said Mayor Dean Brookie during the meeting. “Hopefully, there will be many more in our future.”
In total, the new charger costs about $306,600, but the majority of the cost has been covered by the Colorado Energy Office, La Plata Electric Association and ChargePoint, an EV charging infrastructure provider.
“With transportation accounting for approximately 28% of communitywide greenhouse gas emissions, supporting the widespread adoption of electric vehicles alongside a transition to clean electricity will be critical to achieving the city’s adopted emissions reduction goals,” said Imogen Ainsworth, Durango sustainability coordinator, in the release.
The station is part of an EV Readiness Plan, created by LPEA and the city of Durango, which will help residents and visitors switch to electric vehicles.
“To support the growth of the EV market, we must first start with the infrastructure, and that takes partnerships,” said LPEA CEO Jessica Matlock, in the release. “Working with the city to achieve joint goals that benefit our community has been a pleasure.”
Durango City Council also plans to hear from the public in coming weeks about another environmental sustainability measure, a contract funding energy and water efficiency measures at city facilities.
“Local First has spent years of our time and energy working on ... local renewable energy and greenhouse gas reductions,” said Monique DiGiorgio, executive director of the Local First Foundation, at the City Council meeting. “The energy performance contract is a really important, tangible step in the right direction.”
In its current form, the proceeds of up to $5.6 million in tax-exempt lease purchase financing, together with a $1 million state grant and $101,114 in utility rebates, would be used to pay for the completion of energy and water efficiency measures at city facilities.
City staff members are still conducting a financial analysis before they seek council input, said City Manager José Madrigal.
“This isn’t saying we’re not going to do this project. We absolutely are,” Madrigal said. “We’ll come back and have a good recommendation for the council when it’s ready to go.”