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Featuring a plug-in electric Nissan Leaf and Volkswagen ID.4
Contacts: Michael Wurzel, Sustainability Coordinator, Summit County Government
Jess Hoover, Climate Action Director, High Country Conservation Center
SUMMIT COUNTY – Summit County residents and employees are invited to test drive a variety of new electric vehicle (EV) models at a free “Ride and Drive” Event on Wednesday, September 22, from 4 pm – 7 pm, outside, at the Frisco Adventure Park.
On behalf of the Summit Climate Action Collaborative, High Country Conservation Center (HC3), Xcel Energy, Clean Energy Economy for the Region, and auto dealerships have partnered to bring electric vehicles to Frisco to give interested residents the opportunity to learn about and drive EVs. Two vehicles will be available for test drives, a Volkswagen ID.4 and a Nissan. Dealership staff will be present to help attendees learn about the vehicle models and the federal and state tax credits available for purchasing an EV (combined, up to $10,000). Xcel Energy staff will also be on site to provide information about their electric vehicle incentives for individuals and businesses, from EV-specific electricity rates and rebates to free or discounted EV charging infrastructure for businesses and communities.
Participants can sign up for a test drive when they arrive, so attendees should bring their drivers’ licenses. Bluegrass and folk music will be provided by musicians from Hobo Village and High Five. Expect a plethora of EV enthusiasts there, who are bringing their personal vehicles and can share firsthand experience about EV ownership in the mountains. Locals interested in bringing their own EVs to the event should register at HC3’s website.
By providing basic EV information and vehicles for consumers to drive or ride in, events like this introduce consumers to the variety of EVs available today and showcase the fuel savings and performance benefits of driving electric. With new overnight charging rates offered by Xcel Energy, EV owners can pay as little as 50 cents for the electricity equivalent to a gallon of gasoline, a significant savings over the approximate, but always fluctuating, $3.75 per gallon price of gasoline in Summit County right now.
As a GoEV County, Summit County Government is committed to EV adoption for its fleet, residents and visitors. In 2018, the Summit Community Climate Action Plan showed that the transportation sector is responsible for 33 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the County. To reduce emissions from transportation, a rapid transition from petroleum-based fuels to electricity, in addition to increases in public transit use, walking and biking, are needed. Summit County recently adopted the countywide Electric Vehicle Readiness Plan and committed to purchasing 100 Electric or Zero Emission Vehicles by 2050. Summit County Government alone currently operates 3 plug-in electric Summit Stage buses and 15 EV chargers available for public, workplace and fleet charging. More than 70 charging plugs are available across the county. The Towns of Breckenridge and Frisco have also adopted the EV Readiness Plan.
"Up until very recently, residents of Colorado's rural and mountain communities had to choose between an eco-friendly car with limited functionality or a gas-guzzler good for performing work capabilities and accessing the backcountry," said Stefan Johnson, Transportation Program Manager for CLEER. "New electric SUVs and trucks coming to market mean they no longer have to make that compromise."
Electric vehicles are much cleaner than fossil fuel cars and trucks. With no tailpipe emissions, EVs reduce dangerous air pollutants that cause asthma and other respiratory illnesses, particularly among low-income and minority communities living near busy highways. Also, electric vehicles produce far fewer heat-trapping, greenhouse gas emissions over their lifetimes than conventional gasoline and diesel powered vehicles.
"After another summer of wildfire smoke plaguing the West, worsening ozone pollution along the Front Range, and rising gas prices, there has never been a better time for Coloradans to switch to electric vehicles," said Jess Hoover, HC3’s Climate Action Director. "New electric SUVS and trucks coming to market mean that Coloradans can choose clean air without sacrificing their beloved mountain lifestyle."
Xcel Energy, which provides electricity for more than 99% of Summit County is committed to helping the state of Colorado and Summit County meet their EV adoption goals. Xcel Energy recently rolled out a three-year, $110 million Transportation Electrification Plan, which calls for up to 20,000 charging stations across the state and will provide rebates for the purchase of new and used electric vehicles in addition to adding programs to help manage new charging loads. Approximately 15% of the program budget is directed toward equity-focused programs.
The countywide Climate Action Plan has a goal of increasing the share of EVs driving on Summit County’s roads to 30% of all vehicles by 2030. To achieve this goal, the number of local EVs registered in the County must increase from nearly 300 today to 10,440 by 2030. For more information about the event, visit HC3’s website.