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Gov. Gordon Tackles Electric Vehicle Grid for Mountain States

Consumer demand for electric vehicles in Jackson has jumped by 300% since 2013. (Needpix)
Consumer demand for electric vehicles in Jackson has jumped by 300% since 2013. (Needpix)
January 6, 2020

JACKSON, Wyo. - Wyoming and other western mountain states are pressing ahead with a joint effort to deploy electric vehicle charging stations along interstate corridors and state highways.

Alicia Cox, executive director of the Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities Coalition, says rural states such as Wyoming face unique challenges where people can travel hundreds of miles without reaching a city with charging stations.

"And so it's really valuable and important that these states are all working together to ensure that we're going to have stations deployed at the distance that we need them to allow for people to move throughout our region on all electric," she states.

Gov. Mark Gordon recently signed a memorandum of understanding to advance the infrastructure project, joining governors from Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.

The goal is to bring in a mix of public and private investors to make it possible for electric vehicles to travel seamlessly both within and among mountain states.

Cox says what began as a high-end consumer market, with first adopters buying high-priced Teslas, will continue to become more mainstream. She says the trend across the automotive industry shows that electric vehicles are here to stay.

More popular pickup trucks and SUV electrics are headed to market, and some manufacturers already have switched to electric for all new models.

"So we know that's where the industry is going," she states. "And so eventually, everyone is going to benefit from the infrastructure that's getting in place now."

Cox says the multi-state partnership will not only improve air quality by eliminating tailpipe pollution, the project should also boost local economies by ensuring that visitors continue to make Wyoming, with its national parks and recreation areas, a vacation destination for years to come.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - WY