Glenwood Springs and Aspen in Colorado ramp up plans for EV charging stations

May 11, 2021

by Peter Maloney
May 11, 2021

The Colorado communities of Glenwood Springs and Aspen are collaborating to increase the number of charging stations needed in their region to support the growth of light and heavy duty electric vehicles.

The collaboration includes a focused effort to be more strategic in advancing EV charging infrastructure in their communities.

“Being a local hub for the Western Slope [of the Rocky Mountains], we feel it’s important to be able to provide appropriate numbers of charging stations along with the private stations that are available to the public,” Matt Langhorst, public works director for Glenwood Springs, said in a statement. “We see the future of electric vehicles coming and plan to be prepared for it.”

Last year, Glenwood Springs added three dual cord, Level-2 ChargePoint stations and a similar unit in a downtown parking garage. There are also several publicly available private charging stations such as Tesla stations close to Interstate 70.

In the near future, Glenwood Springs intends to increase its level of collaboration with Aspen, which is in the process of developing an electric vehicle infrastructure masterplan that would serve as a blueprint for Aspen’s public charging stations over the next five years. The plan would provide recommendations on where, when and how Aspen should install public charging stations and how it should manage its existing stations. The plan would address policy issues such as when to begin paid charging and how rates might compare across the regional charging network.

Aspen currently owns and operates eight publicly available electric vehicle charging stations, six of which are dual cord, Level-2 ChargePoint stations and two are direct current fast charging stations that serve one vehicle at a time. The city also operates several Level 2 charging stations for its administrative fleet of light duty electric vehicles.

There are also eight electric buses that operate within Aspen and in the 70-mile stretch between Aspen and Glenwood Springs as part of the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority’s (RFTA) Battery Electric Bus (BEB) Pilot Project.

RFTA, based in Aspen and Glenwood Springs, integrated electric buses into its fleet of 120 buses in 2019. The buses use Level 2 chargers to replenish their batteries overnight to take advantage of lower off-peak rates. Overall charging time for the buses is approximately three to four hours.

Langhorst said he hopes Aspen’s EV Infrastructure Masterplan will serve as a guide and a tool for other regional stakeholders with electrification plans.

Aspen and Glenwood Springs were among the first communities in the United States to achieve their individual 100 percent renewable energy goals. Aspen reached that goal in 2015, Glenwood Springs in 2019.

Aspen and Glenwood Springs are members of NMPP Energy and the Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska, the wholesale power supply organization of NMPP Energy, based in Lincoln, Neb.

The Nebraska Municipal Power Pool (NMPP), part of NMPP Energy, provides a variety of energy and management services to nearly 200 member municipalities in six Midwest and Rocky Mountain states.