Snowmass Village goes to the next level with more car charging stations

Cars plug into the four electric vehicle charging cables available in Lot 3 in Snowmass Village on Monday, January 31, 2022.
Kaya Williams / The Snowmass Sun

When it comes to climate action, “you can try to change behavior all you want,” but encouraging people to make more sustainable choices by making those choices easier is where municipalities like Snowmass Village can take “steps.” by leaps and bounds,” according to Sam Guarino. , who is parking and transportation supervisor for the city and acting liaison for the village environmental advisory board.

That’s why Guarino sees new technology — like several new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations that were installed a month ago across the village — as “the best decision we can make when it comes to sustainability ( and) greenhouse gas management”.

“I think when it comes to the city’s carbon reduction goals, being able to influence people to get into electric cars or make it easier for them to get into electric cars will be the one of the biggest differences we can make to meet those carbon reduction goals,” Guarino said.

A grant of nearly $27,000 from Charge Ahead Colorado helped fund three new stations in Snowmass Village that went into service early in the new year. One of them replaces an old station in Town Park; one is at a new location at the Housing Department offices on Deerfield Drive and the other is a second station on Lot 3 off Carriage Way.

Grant funds reimburse the city for $9,000 of the cost of each charging station; the total cost of the project was in the range of $45,000, with the city paying the remainder not covered by the grant, Guarino wrote in an email.

It brings the total number of city-owned charging stations to four; each has two ports, so eight cars can charge at any one time. There are also two public chargers – for four total ports – in the base village parking garage run by East West Hospitality.

A month into 2022, data provided by Guarino and by Kelly Brockett, general manager of Snowmass Mountain Lodging of East West, indicates that the resorts are heavily used.

In January, stations across the city recorded 248 individual charging sessions across the eight ports, diverting 3.03 metric tons of carbon dioxide, Guarino wrote in an email. Base Village stations recorded 161 individual charging sessions at the four ports, Brockett wrote, but she did not have data on emissions diversion.

Some of the old city-run stations didn’t have data-gathering features, so comparing January’s stats to last year’s would show a more drastic increase in usage than was actually the case. .

Charging stations in the city are electric and are powered by the Holy Cross Energy network, according to Guarino. Over time, this connection means charging stations will become even more environmentally friendly, as Holy Cross is committed to producing 100% clean energy by 2030.

“We have a good mix of clean energy here with Holy Cross as it is, and if they get to 100% renewable by 2030, then we’re really in a pretty sustainable pattern,” Guarino said.

Some impacts are not only quantifiable, but also qualifiable in terms of the message that has strengthened electric vehicle charging, said Phi Filerman, chairman of the Snowmass Village Environmental Advisory Board and community sustainability lead for the Community Office for Resource Efficiency ( HEART).

“This sends a signal to tourism, to people who come to visit Snowmass, both that Snowmass is committed to building the infrastructure to support their aggressive climate action goals, as well as (commits) to support (ing) the infrastructure that allows people to drive their electric vehicles…to come to Snowmass,” Filerman said.

Filerman said infrastructure is a “key component” in helping Snowmass Village meet its ambitious climate action goals, which aim to cut carbon emissions by 62.5% by 2030 and reach zero. net emissions by 2050 relative to a baseline set in 2009 as part of the ICLEI “Run to Zero” campaign.

It also contributes to Colorado’s climate action efforts, Filerman noted. One such effort is to get 940,000 electric vehicles in circulation by 2030, which plays into the overall goal to reduce greenhouse gas pollution by 50% by 2030 and by 90% by 2050 compared to a reference set in 2005.

Getting to this point means making it both possible and normal to drive an electric vehicle instead of a gas-powered one, Filerman said.

“The more we make this visible, the more … we normalize electric vehicles,” Filerman said. “The more people see them, the more they believe and understand that they are a totally viable option, and (this) will increase the number of those being used in the region.”

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