Charging stations along I-70

Tesla’s new charging stations in Silverthorne.  Other stations will be opened next week in Glenwood Springs. Photo/Ryan Hyland.

Tesla’s new charging stations in Silverthorne. Other stations will be opened next week in Glenwood Springs. Photo/Ryan Hyland.

Tesla installs charging stations along I-70 in Silverthorne & Glenwood Springs

Electric-car manufacturer Tesla has installed  eight fast-charging stations at the Outlets at Silverthorne, located 70 miles from downtown Denver, and another bank at Glenwood Springs.

The grand opening for both is planned for this week.

In 30 minutes, the charging stations can deliver electricity sufficient for 200 miles of driving.

“Just like in California, where Tesla began in the major metro areas and then provided charging stations at incremental locations while expanding outwards, a Silverthorne charging station will get Denver metro residents to Steamboat, Vail Valley and the Aspen area and back,” explains Kevin Batchelder, town manager of Silverthorne.

In May, Tesla announced plans for a network of 200 fast-charging stations that will connect most of the major population centers in the United States and Canada, providing free electricity at the dispensers.

“The expansion of the network will mean that Model S drivers can take the ultimate road trip – whether that’s LA to New York, Vancouver to San Diego, or Montreal to Miami – without spending a cent on fuel,” said Tesla in May.

Only Tesla Model S cars can be charged. They run about $70,000 but have a much bigger battery pack than other electric cars. A Nissan Leaf, for example, has a theoretical battery range of 78 miles. Because of the limited range, the standard advice in mountain towns is that it’s best to buy a hybrid, with an electric component for around-town errands but a gasoline engine for longer trips.

But why should this be good news for other electric car owners? A correspondent in Oregon for KATU asked that question of Phil Barnhart, a state representative from Eugene.

“The first cell phone was a brick,” he answered. “It weighed like a brick. It cost $10,000. If somebody didn’t buy the thing, we wouldn’t have this,” he said, pulling his iPhone out of his pocket. “You’ve got to have early adopters.”

State aid for stations?

More state money could conceivably be allocated for charging stations on the I-70 corridor. The state has $30 million in federal funds. While state transportation officials had planned to use it all for natural gas fueling stations, the Denver Regional Council of Governments supports carving out less than $2 million for DC fast-charging stations for cars along I-70 between Denver and Grand Junction, and between Fort Collins and Pueblo.

DC fast chargers cost only 10 percent of the cost of natural gas charging station, according to a proposal from the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project. According to SWEEP representative Will Toor, C-DOT executive director Don Hunt was at the meeting and indicated that DRCOG’s wishes counted for a great deal.

And in Breckenridge

A level-two charging stations has opened in Breckenridge. Charging will be free, but will be limited to five hours per user. The closest other level-two chargers are in Carbondale and Evergreen. It was installed with aid of the Regional Air Quality Council and Colorado Energy Office.

 

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About Allen Best

Allen Best is a Colorado-based journalist. He publishes a subscription-based e-zine called Mountain Town News, portions of which are published on the website of the same name, and also writes for a variety of newspapers and magazines.
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2 Responses to Charging stations along I-70

  1. CecPacSHakur says:

    Ridiculous that a charging station, will only charge a tesla model S. Idea couldnt be dumber. I should charge Leaf’s and any other all electric vechicle, even if the station charged a minimal fee.

    • Draggin' Tail says:

      It is Tesla that is providing the two charging stations listed in the article. To take issue with a company not providing for a competitor is unreasonable. Now if our tax dollars build the charging station, then I would agree, they need to be ambidextrous. I would however take issue with Tesla having the stations serve only one of their models of cars and not all that they produce.

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