A city-backed charging station for electric vehicles could be installed at the Colorado Welcome Center by the end of the year.
The Cortez City Council approved a contract with Living Solar on this week to put in the new $30,330 slow-charging station, City Manager John Dougherty said.
“It is felt electric vehicles are the wave of the future, and we want to encourage electric vehicle travelers to stop and shop,” he said.
The charging station will be funded by a variety of sources including the city, which also makes it a good opportunity, Dougherty said.
The Colorado Department of Energy will provide $9,000; Empire Electric Association, $3,000; Osprey, $10,000; and the city, about $8,300, he said.
The council also approved an agreement with Osprey this week that will provide every Osprey employee two free charges at the station, he said. The free charges were approved as a condition of the $10,000 donation.
The city previously planned to offer free charging services to Cortez resident for the first two years of the station’s operation to incentivize use. But the City Council decided against providing free charging services.
Residents and visitors will be required to pay for every charge, but city staff are researching an appropriate fee structure, Dougherty said. Residents and visitors will pay the same rate, he said.
City Council will approve the fee structure before the charging station opens, he said.
Cortez also is expected to get new fast-charging stations through a $10.3 million state grant to install charging stations in more than 30 communities across the state. The grant could provide Cortez with two charging stations and a power block, with the potential to expand to four stations and two power blocks in the future.
Montezuma County is managing the fast-charging station project, which requires a local match of $38,000 for the $316,000 project.
The new Cortez charging stations will join existing stations in Durango, Rico, Mancos and Blanding.
The station also could help serve more electric vehicles expected to take to Colorado roads after new state rules approved in August.
The state Air Quality Control Commission regulations require automakers to sell more than 5% zero-emission vehicles by 2023 and more than 6% zero-emission vehicles by 2025, according to a news release.