Governor Polis Announces New Electric Vehicle Chargers Installed at Colorado State Parks to Accelerate Charging Infrastructure, Continue to Take Bold Climate Action
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO (STL.News) Governor Jared Polis joined the Department of Natural Resources, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and electric vehicle technology maker Rivian to unveil two Rivian Waypoints Level 2 electric vehicle (EV) chargers at Cheyenne Mountain State Park. The installation of chargers offers Coloradans and visitors the historic opportunity to enjoy the outdoors while using cleaner transportation options and doubles down on the Polis administration’s commitment to put more than one million electric vehicles on roads by 2030 to protect our air, give consumers more choice and save people money.
Record investments in Colorado’s transition to electric vehicles build on Governor Polis’ leadership on the electric vehicle transition, with a history of robust consumer incentives, large utility investments in EV charging infrastructure, and being the first state in the nation to adopt zero-emission vehicle standards with support from associations representing 99% of auto manufacturers.
“Colorado has a world-class state park system and is a leader in the cost-saving transition to electric vehicles. Our administration is making record investments in EVs and are empowering Coloradans who are choosing electric vehicles to make a great escape to iconic outdoor destinations while recharging for their next adventure,” said Governor Polis. “We are committed to delivering cleaner air and driving eco-friendly tourism to preserve and protect our amazing public lands. Thanks to the incredible collaboration between the Department of Natural Resources, Colorado Parks & Wildlife with Colorado Energy Office, and Rivian, Colorado is on the fast track to delivering a comprehensive EV charging infrastructure that meets the needs of drivers today and tomorrow.”
“Coloradans love the great outdoors and our state parks are some of their most popular destinations. We are incredibly excited to collaborate with Rivian to increase electric vehicle charging station access to the places Coloradans and visitors love to come camp, recreate, wildlife watch or just get outside to enjoy what Colorado and our state parks have to offer,” said Dan Gibbs, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Natural Resources.
Governor Polis signed bipartisan transportation legislation that provides more than $730 million over the next ten years to support transportation electrification and includes the Community Access Enterprise to support charging stations across the state.
“The installation of more EV charging stations at our state parks aligns with our agency’s goal to add more park facilities based on the evolving needs of our park visitors and our ongoing educational efforts to encourage people to balance outdoor recreation with mindful conservation,” said Colorado Parks and Wildlife Director Dan Prenzlow.
“Coloradans are embracing electric vehicles, with over 50,000 residents already driving an EV, and market share tripling over the last year. The cost of fueling an EV is the equivalent of paying only a dollar a gallon for gas, and the Polis administration is committed to saving Coloradans money at the fuel pump by accelerating the transition to electric cars, trucks and buses across the state,” said Will Toor, Executive Director of the Colorado Energy Office.
The network of EV chargers that will be installed at outdoor destinations throughout the state this year builds on the state’s record investments in the transition to electric vehicles and continues a history of robust consumer incentives:
- The Governor signed his first executive order after taking office in 2019 to put Colorado on the path to establishing a Zero Emission Vehicle Program, bringing more EV makes and models to Colorado consumers.
- In 2020, Colorado released the Colorado EV Plan, which sets bold goals for transportation electrification: 940,000 light-duty EVs and at least 1,000 zero-emission transit buses by 2030.
- Leading by example, Colorado is electrifying state facilities and setting the stage for the delivery of dozens of new electric state fleet vehicles in 2022 and 2023.
- Charge Ahead Colorado, the State’s flagship EV charging station grant program, has distributed awards for more than 1,500 stations across the state at workplaces, multi-family housing, hotels and other recreational destinations, and private and government facilities.
- The state’s EV fast-chargers corridor program has installed stations at 20 locations along Colorado interstates and state and US highways, with another 14 opening by the end of the year.
Increasing the accessibility of electric vehicles throughout Colorado remains a top priority for Governor Polis and the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. In the last 3 months of 2021, Colorado saw record-breaking EV sales in Colorado, with recent monthly sales close to triple pre-pandemic levels. In response, Governor Polis has also proposed investing $150 million in this year’s budget to convert to electric school buses, and $12 million for rebates for electric bicycles. As electric vehicles grow in popularity, drivers will continue to need a place to charge, contributing to the urgency for the installation of charging sites to keep pace with the increasing number of EV sales.
This installation is part of a phased plan to install EV charging sites throughout the entire state, starting in the Southeast region. CPW has already installed EV chargers at a handful of Front Range parks, including St. Vrain State Park in Longmont and Staunton State Park in Pine.
Rivian, an electric vehicle manufacturer and automotive technology company has committed to installing at least two open-network Rivian Waypoints chargers at more than 50 CPW state park and office locations. The Level 2 chargers can add up to 25 miles of driving range for each hour they are plugged in, making them ideal for EV-driving park patrons visiting for the day or camping overnight. This collaborative effort extends the electric charging infrastructure grid to new areas for EV drivers to explore.
“Our Rivian Waypoints network was specifically designed with our nation’s parks in mind,” said Trent Warnke, Senior Director, Energy and Charging Solutions at Rivian. “These chargers are open-network, suitable for all EV-driving adventurers, with their placement strategically focused on where they’re needed most.”
The easily accessible EV charging stations at Colorado state parks will allow Coloradans and out-of-state visitors to drive to remote outdoor destinations while also preventing pollution and protecting the public lands they plan to enjoy.
CPW and Rivian are working on an initial round of approximately 20 installations to be completed by late summer 2022, focusing on sites in the Southeastern part of the state including the Southeast Region Office, Lake Pueblo and John Martin, the Denver Metropolitan Area, Barr Lake, Chatfield, and Castlewood Canyon, along with North Sterling on the Northeastern Plains, and site on the Western Slope.
Follow CPW’s social media @coparkswildlife for more information as additional Level 2 chargers are installed around the state. To learn more about Colorado’s commitment to climate resiliency in all communities, visit cwcb.colorado.gov/climate and read the Colorado Climate Plan.