What's Denver doing on the EV-Ready list?

Guest Blog by Cara Miale
April 20, 2011

Looking at the list of the most EV-ready cities just released by Ford, it’s no surprise many of them are coastal. On the east and west coasts energy is pricey, so the pressure is on to achieve innovation that will control costs and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

But what’s up with Denver out there in the middle of the map, all by its lonesome?

Government leaders in Colorado, and Denver specifically, have long been committed to sustainability and energy efficiency. Denver has worked hard over the years not only to position itself as a national leader in sustainability, but also to lead by example.

Denver was home to the first “Green Fleet” of city-use vehicles in the early 1990’s, which now includes 138 hybrid electric vehicles. The city hosted the greenest Democratic National Convention to date, and shows continued focus through clean-energy legislation. Its concentration of clean-energy workers and companies is on the rise, and Colorado continues to attract more venture capital financing for cl....

And, we’re not so alone after all. Denver is also participating in a U.S.-China “Eco Partnership” sponsored by U.S. Department of the Treasury, which is focused on the implementation of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

On the forefront of the EV-push is the Colorado Plug-In Working Group, which engages communities (like Denver and Boulder), government and private businesses to facilitate EV market growth. Current members are no strangers to the scene: Xcel Energy, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Rocky Mountain Institute, Denver Metro Clean Cities Coalition and the Governor’s Energy Office.

In putting together its list of EV-ready cities, Ford looked at several criteria including complementary state and regional activities. Of these, Denver has no shortage:

  • Intellectual resources abound. Colorado’s universities are actively researching how to increase efficiency of electricity generation and transmission and testing smart grids, and collaborating with Colorado-based national labs.
  • Greenprint Denver was established by then-Mayor Hickenlooper to position Denver as a national leader in sustainability and integrate environmental impact considerations into the city’s programs and policies.
  • The Utilities & Transmission Program at the Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) has its sights set on working with utilities to increase the proportion of demand-side management within their resource portfolios.
  • Denver P2 Partners, a pollution prevention program, works with small businesses to increase participation and adoption of sustainable practices that go beyond compliance. It’s developed industry-specific criteria to target environmental issues and concerns specific to auto repair shops. Reducing transportation pollution is one of five criteria that auto repair shop must address to maintain certification through the program. While “educational training on hybrid and alternative fuel vehicle maintenance” is listed as an elective criterion, a partnership with Denver P2 Partners could be easily expanded and used to enlist auto repair shops to support EV implementation. 
  • Voluntary Ozone Reduction program. The City & County of Denver’s Environmental Transportation Coordinators hit the streets during critical summer months to educate employees about ozone pollution and  ways to reduce ozone levels.
  • Recharge Colorado Rebate Program has pumped more than $90 million into the Colorado economy since late April 2010.
  • A year ago, Colorado company UQM Technologies received a $45 million grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to expand operations of its electric motor factory, accelerating electric vehicle projects across Colorado.

Tax incentives are also in place. The Colorado Department of Revenue offers an income tax credit for titled, registered Colorado vehicles that use or are converted to alternative fuels, are hybrid electric vehicles or have an alternative power source.

The question remains: Why Denver? Its blue skies, spectacular mountains and love of all things outdoors certainly create good motivation to adopt protective technologies; or it may simply be a persistent, Wild-West spirit of independence that drives (no pun) Colorado’s hunger for that next frontier: energy independence. Whatever the reason, the verdict is in: Colorado’s ready to plug in.

Cara Miale is a freelance writer in Denver.

Views: 13

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros

Photos

Loading…
  • Add Photos
  • View All

Latest Activity

Anthony Adams posted a status
"Trying to figure heat load for HVAC on bonus room over a garage. Lots of wall space exposed to arttic."
2 hours ago
Profile IconTirso De Ubago, Hamed Ghanbari, Bob Eldredge and 1 more joined Home Energy Pros
10 hours ago
Hamed Ghanbari replied to Brian's discussion Everything you need to become a energy auditor for sale in the group Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase
"Hello, I am interested to buy a Minneapolis Blower Door DG700. How much is your unit? Thanks. "
14 hours ago
Hamed Ghanbari joined allen p tanner's group
Thumbnail

Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase

Discuss the pros and cons of the equipment you are interested in prior to purchase. Post equipment…See More
14 hours ago
Colin Genge updated an event
Thumbnail

Measuring HVAC Performance webinar at Online

February 23, 2016 from 11am to 12pm
If you install, service or test HVAC systems you will want be there for this special webinar.…See More
17 hours ago
Colin Genge updated an event
Thumbnail

Testing for IECC Code Compliance for duct and house leakage webinar at Online

February 16, 2016 from 11am to 12pm
The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) is in use or adopted in 47 states, the District…See More
17 hours ago
Jan Green posted a status
"I'm honored to be selected to speak at the 2016 RESNET Conference right here in sunny Scottsdale 2/29-3/2/16 with SRP & others!"
19 hours ago
Joe Konopacki posted an event

Duct & Envelope Tightness (DET) Verifier at Temperature Equipment Corporation

February 26, 2016 from 8:30am to 4:30pm
The Duct & Envelope Tightness Certification (DET) was designed by the Midwest Home Performance…See More
20 hours ago

© 2016   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service