Fast EV chargers are coming to remote Colorado towns in an effort to ease “range anxiety”

Utilities and state grants take on “range anxiety” with a technology innovation bringing rapid charging equity to far-flung locations

Michael Booth
The Colorado Sun
Tesla charging stations are pictured at the Outlets at Silverthorne.
Hugh Carey/Summit Daily archive.

COLORADO — An innovative, battery-boosted fast charging station could prescribe much-needed electron therapy for “range anxiety” in Colorado’s small towns, with utilities and the state Energy Office collaborating to open a new rapid charger in Julesburg. 

The new rapid charger is open at the Wagon Wheel Conoco, a high visibility watering hole serving Interstate 76, Julesburg, northeastern Colorado and western Nebraska. It’s 30 miles from the next charging station, considered a minimum goal for electrifying the state. 

Electrification experts and consumer surveys say drivers want access to fast chargers that can give them 50 to 100 miles of range in 15 to 30 minutes of plugging in, to feel completely comfortable switching to electric-only vehicles. 

In planning to join the fast charging grid, a problem for many small towns is that their electrical grid is often relatively low-voltage. Fast chargers using DC current to speed the fill-up need to draw from a high voltage or three-phase grid. 

A tech company called FreeWire has solved the rural problem with battery modules that can be installed or moved to new locations with a forklift. The modules take the low-voltage feed and build it up to a boost that provides a fast charge similar to those available in higher traffic areas under brand names like Electrify America or ChargePoint. 


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