Range anxiety? Colorado, Utah and Nevada want to ease your fears about electric cars

Colorado is teaming up with Utah and Nevada to develop an interstate network of electric vehicle charging stations, Governor John Hickenlooper announced this week. Hickenlooper and the governors of both states jointly announced plans for the project Monday.

A regional network of charging stations, says Hickenlooper, will encourage the transition to electric cars by helping address the so-called “range anxiety” that plagues many would-be buyers. Electric vehicles are great for city drivers, but some consumers worry about the ability to recharge on long distance trips. This multi-state endeavor will prevent gaps in coverage across major highway corridors.

The charging stations will span Interstates 70, 76 and 25 across Colorado, and will connect more than 2,000 miles of highway across all three states. Having charging stations along important corridors is expected to allow smaller communities to “plug in” to the regional system.

Colorado currently offers a $5,000 tax credit on electric car purchases, one of the best such incentives in the country. Since 2011, electric car ownership in Colorado has increased 80-fold, with nearly 8,000 electric cars now on the road here, according to the governor’s office. The state also has begun building charging stations through a program called Charge Ahead Colorado.

Hickenlooper says the initiative recognizes that Colorado, Utah and Nevada will “continue to lead the country in the electric vehicle market,” and will allow drivers to get from Denver to the Pacific Ocean in an electric car.

Pete Maysmith, the director of Conservation Colorado, supports the endeavor, noting that transportation is one of the largest sources of carbon pollution in the U.S. “Colorado is already the best state in which to buy an electric vehicle, and it’s exciting to see this step forward in making it one of the best states in which to drive one,” he said in a statement.

Collaborative planning will begin in the new year. There is not yet a timeline on the completion of the project.

Photo credit: Håkan Dahlström, Creative Commons, Flickr