The state of Colorado has passed a new law that will allow anybody - not just utilities - to resell electricity. Governor John Hickenlooper backed the law, part of the state’s “electric vehicle readiness” campaign, as a way to spur entrepreneurs to install charging stations at grocery stores, hotels, malls and other commercial locations. So far, the state boasts about 60 mostly free charging stations, including 40 at Walgreens pharmacies.
In an article this week, the Denver Post cited Dave Altman of charger manufacturer Eaton Corp, who said that for around $5,000, anybody with property and access to electricity can install an EV charging station, and that a market for $1-an-hour charging probably will emerge soon. “It’s a matter of putting them out in front of your business and saying: ‘Here is the station!’ It’s got a credit-card reader on it - very simple - just like at the gas pump.” But drivers would pay $4 instead of $40 or more for a tank of gas.
State and local governments around the world are keen to encourage greater adoption of EVs, in order to clean up metropolitan air and create local jobs, but many decision-makers see “range anxiety” as a big barrier. The Post article related several apropos anecdotes, including that of a LEAF owner who was reduced to scavenging electricity from an outlet designed for lighting holiday Christmas trees (there’s a handy tip - outlets are often found in planters around parking areas).
Colorado’s car dealers are onboard - Colorado Automobile Dealers Association president Tim Jackson said his members “would support any legislation that would more speedily advance the infrastructure to support those vehicles we sell today - and those in the pipelines for our showrooms.” Local car salesmen compared EVs to laptop computers and flat-screen TVs - items for which prices quickly dropped so that many people could afford them.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said that his goal of making Denver one of the nation's greenest cities “means bolstering our low-carbon transportation. Supporting an electric-vehicle agenda is not only good for our public health and environment, but it helps to create a demand for jobs within Denver’s growing clean-energy industry.”