Summit County looking to join GoEV campaign to support state’s electric vehicle future
Summit County continues its march into a green future, as the county has started exploring the possibility of joining a new state-wide municipal collaborative that hopes to get a million electric vehicles on Colorado’s roads by 2030, as well as build the infrastructure needed for such an endeavor.
The campaign, called “GoEV,” was kicked off by the state’s initiation of the Colorado Electrical Vehicle Plan supporting an executive order signed by former Gov. John Hickenlooper. The order sees electric vehicles as the core of future transportation, and instructed state agencies to transition the state to an electrical vehicle-based transport infrastructure, with the goal of getting 15 to 30 percent of Colorado’s vehicles to be electrical by 2030.
The GoEV campaign is a collaboration between several statewide non-profits, including Clean Energy Economy for the Region, Conservation Colorado, Colorado Public Interest Research Group, Sierra Club and the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project.
Critical to the GoEV plan is to get Colorado’s local governments on board and to draw up their own electrical vehicle plans to align with each other by building the infrastructure needed to create a seamless network for electrical vehicles – similar to the gas station network built for combustion engines.
Summit County senior planner Kate Berg said that the plan is similar to the statewide “Ready for 100” campaign that set a goal of getting the state to 100 percent carbon-free and renewable energy within a few decades. That campaign saw 75 cities and counties to commit to switching off fossil fuels, including Summit County and the Town of Breckenridge. The campaign encouraged Colorado’s largest public utility Xcel Energy to commit last year to making its electric grid go 100 percent carbon-free by 2050.
Xcel is also jumping on the electrical vehicle campaign, encouraging cities and counties to coordinate their efforts in creating the infrastructure needed for a robust electrical vehicle network. Berg said that if Summit County were to join the collaborative, it would align its efforts with its towns — Breckenridge, Dillon, Frisco, Silverthorne — to ensure compatibility across the board.
At the local level, participating in GoEV would require the county to come up with an electrical vehicle plan within 18 months of joining. The plan would require concrete goals for building infrastructure, transitioning the county’s own transit and vehicle fleets to all-electrical, as well as updating building codes for commercial and residential buildings to make them EV-ready, giving tenants the ability to easily install outlets and vehicle charging apparatus if they desire. The county is already working to convert its fleet to all-electric, purchasing three electric buses for the Summit Stage that are expected to go into service this December.
Berg said that several major cities and counties are looking toward committing to the GoEV campaign, including the City and County of Denver, Fort Collins, Eagle County, Glenwood Springs, Aspen and Pueblo.
County Commissioner Elisabeth Lawrence said that she was excited about the potential for Summit County to join the campaign and be a part of the fossil fuel-free future.
“I’m just thrilled that this opportunity has been presented to us,” Lawrence said. “We’re at the very early stages of looking at the project, and I see it following the same roadmap as the county’s goals for going 100 percent renewable, by setting goals in the future and working toward meeting them.”
Lawrence said that it is far too early in the process to determine what kind of local funding or tax raises would be required to participate in the campaign, if any.
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