Northern Colorado aims to lead transition to PEVs

By: Steve Wednesday February 27, 2013 0 comments Tags: Carter Brown, CSU, Fort Collins, Lafayette, Loveland, PEVs, Robbie Diamond

Who looks forward to the ever-rising cost of filling their vehicle every time they pull up to the pump?

No one -- except the oil companies, of course.

Wouldn't it be great to break our gasoline addiction and move ourselves about in vehicles powered by electricity?

It's a goal that's getting closer all the time, as battery technologies improve and Northern Colorado companies like Boulder Electric Vehicle in Lafayette push ahead with efforts to speed the transition to electric-based transportation.

At an Innovation After Hours event held in Loveland on Feb. 13, Carter Brown, CEO of Boulder Electric Vehicle, said his company - founded in 2008 - now has five assembly lines building electric-powered trucks and counts Morning Fresh Dairy in Bellvue and FedEx among its customers.

Brown said he expects his company will ramp up to 1,200 vehicles per year over the next two years.

Just this week, a new initiative called "Drive Electric Northern Colorado" was launched by the Electrification Coalition in partnership with the cities of Loveland and Fort Collins and Colorado State University.

The initiative was billed as the first of its kind aimed at spreading the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). The launch included a groundbreaking for the first fast-charge PEV station in Colorado that can fully charge a vehicle in less than 30 minutes.

The Bohemian Foundation - a philanthropic organization in Fort Collins - pledged to fund two more charging stations.

"Once a city has the right buy-in from local businesses and leaders -- and a commitment to coordination and education - the environment is ripe to show businesses and citizens from all walks of life the benefits of using PEVs in their everyday lives," said Robbie Diamond, Electrification Coalition CEO.

"Fort Collins and Loveland are going to show the nation how it's done."

Of course, three fast-charging PEV stations in a city of 150,000 isn't going to immediately move substantial numbers of people to buy an electric vehicle over a gas-powered one for their daily transportation needs.

But with the support of visionary entrepreneurs like Brown and early-adopter cities like Loveland and Fort Collins, Northern Colorado is well-positioned to take the lead in helping America to eventually break its gasoline addiction and move into a cleaner - and hopefully much less expensive - energy future.

About the Author: Steve