New Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Open in Colorado State Parks

You might not have a Tesla Model Y or Rivian R1T electric truck in the driveway yet, but the electric vehicle charging network is expanding every day. Colorado announced last year that it wanted to add EV chargers in all parks, and the first one has finally opened. Check out this partnership with Rivian, one of the newest electric vehicle manufacturers on the market.

Cheyenne Mountain State Park is the first to get new electric vehicle charging stations

Colorado added new electric vehicle charging stations at state parks
A new electric vehicle charging station near Sandstone Park in Colorado | Matt Jonas/Digital First Media/Boulder Daily Camera via Getty Images

According to Colorado Public Radio, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission worked with Rivian to bring electric vehicle chargers to state parks. With this partnership, Rivian would add at least two EV chargers at over 50 Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) locations throughout the state. That is over 42 state parks. The state put this plan in motion back in March 2021, but Rivian finally installed the chargers.

KRDO says that Governor Jared Polis was joined by the Department of Natural Resources and Colorado Parks and Wildlife to show off the new electric vehicle chargers. These first chargers are Rivian Waypoints Level 2 chargers, located in the Cheyenne Mountain State Park.

“Our program will eliminate barriers and make EVs the everyday choice for outdoor recreation and transportation.”

Corey Ershow | Rivian public policy manager

Governor Polis aimed to have one million electric vehicles on the road by 2030, and an upgraded electric vehicle charging network was part of that plan. The administration said that one of the most significant barriers in this program was the lack of EV chargers.

The parks around the state will get Level 2 electric vehicle chargers

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While these are only Level 2 chargers, Ershow said these make sense for the parks. A Level 3 fast charger will charge the electric vehicle quicker, but most people park for a while at these destinations. Having a slower charge makes more sense in these situations. Rivian plans to maintain these new chargers for 25 years.

Last month, 13% of new cars sold were electric vehicles. That is the highest it has ever been. Rivian and the Colorado Parks and Wildlife group will install Level 2 chargers in more than 20 other state parks by the end of the summer.

“We have a broader commitment to saving people money whether it’s on healthcare, whether it’s on rent, property taxes which we’ve cut, we’ve got income tax twice, but it’s also about saving you money on your car. It’s also about cleaner air for our state,” Polis said.

For now, all of the EV chargers are free for people using the parks

At this time, it sounds like the electric vehicle chargers are free to use. Ershow added the electricity itself would be the only cost to Colorado Parks and Wildlife,” Colorado Public Radio said. Many places allow free charging for a while but add a payment a few years down the line. No plans for that have been announced.

Hannah Collazo works for the Environment Colorado, said that the partnership with Rivian makes perfect sense. The organization started an initiative called “Recharge Where You Recharge” last year, and it caught the eye of the Rivian brand. You don’t need to have the Rivian R1T electric truck to charge, though. These chargers work on all U.S.-made electric vehicles.

If you have been considering taking a trip to a state park this summer, PlugShare can help you find accessible and free locations throughout the country. Be sure to check out the new electric vehicle chargers at Cheyenne Mountain State Park in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

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