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https://coloradosun.com/2021/03/18/colorado-gets-electric-car-charges-for-all-parks/

Electric vehicle maker Rivian will put public charging stations in every state park at no cost to the state, with the first installations planned for July, after the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission unanimously approved the proposal.

Backers on the commission and from outside environmental groups said the pact is a fast and worthy step toward the state’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Roadmap, which requires a statewide changeover from gas-powered vehicles to an electrified transportation network.

Commissioner Jay Tutchton said the agreement with Rivian, which bills itself as a maker of “electric adventure vehicles,” is good for both the “not if but when” changeover to EVs and Colorado’s leadership on the environment and outdoors-related travel. “This is putting us a little ahead of the curve,” he said.

Department of Natural Resources Executive Director Dan Gibbs fully endorsed the pact before the vote, and said Gov. Jared Polis “can’t wait to be at a ribbon cutting” for new EV chargers at the parks, possibly by summer.


The project aims to install two Rivian Level 2 chargers, which would be universally compatible with all EV makes and models in the U.S., at each of Colorado’s 42 state parks, including newly established Fishers Peak.

Colorado already has EV chargers at a handful of busy Front Range parks, including St. Vrain State Park near Longmont. Level 2 chargers add about 25 miles of driving range for each hour they are plugged in. Supporters said Rivian’s contribution under the plan is worth about $2 million.

A remote network of chargers is key to eliminating the “range anxiety” that is one major hesitation among potential EV buyers and users, say backers like Environment Colorado, which testified in favor of the Rivian pact.

The state’s emissions reduction plan commits to getting nearly 1 million EVs on Colorado roads by 2030, as part of an effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 and 90% by 2050. Colorado has made significant progress booking future cuts to one major category, utility power generation, and now needs to turn to large transportation-related cuts to make more progress.

Environment Colorado director Hannah Collazo sees partnering with a for-profit, “mission-driven” company like Rivian to build out infrastructure for climate change goals — at no cost to the state budget — as an easy “yes.”

Rivian said at the meeting it would cover all costs for installation, as well as maintain each charging post free to the state for five years. The state could renew the contract for up to 25 years.

The commissioners did not make decisions on the next set of questions, such as where to locate the devices in the parks without disrupting natural areas or experiences, or whether park-goers will be charged to use the stations. A Rivian representative said possibilities include everything from completely free use, to a small plug-in fee, to a kilowatt-hour charge for a set period of plug-in time. Rivian apps and software can handle the transactions for the state if it chooses that route, company public policy manager Corey Ershow said.

Rivian benefits by having a wider and more reliable network of places for its buyers to go, and by promoting the general use of all EVs with Colorado adventures that match up with their brand.

“Rivian has a few ethos. One is to electrify everything. Another is to keep the world adventurous forever,” Ershow said. “The inability to go out and charge at certain locations is a barrier to broader EV adoption, and whether it’s going to be in a Rivian R1 vehicle or is going to be in another automakers’ EV, the decision to go electric is really going to be dependent on the ability to charge anywhere you may be, anywhere you may go.”

He called Colorado “an ideal flagship deployment for the Rivian L2 charging networks.”

Commissioners did have questions about whether promoting use of EVs, which until recently have been significantly more expensive to buy than gas vehicles, is equitable to lower-income taxpayers.

Commissioners and Gibbs said electrifying state park locations also gives the state more opportunities to electrify its DNR vehicle fleet. Lack of a widespread charging network, as well as lack of for-sale EVs rugged enough for some outdoors jobs, has slowed DNR’s fleet changeover, Gibbs said. The pact says nothing about the state acquiring Rivian vehicles.

Commissioner Taishya Adams said she supports emissions cuts and electrification in general, but it’s important to point out that EVs are not perfect. They are manufactured using oil and gas resources, and also rely on battery materials from exploited countries like Africa’s Democratic Republic of Congo, Adams said.

Commissioners also said they did not want to perpetuate any perceptions that both EVs and adventure time outdoors are limited to more elite state residents.

Collazo assured the commission that backing this effort was only a facet of decarbonizing transportation, along with efforts to increase access to parks through Bustang-style public transportation. She encouraged CPW commissioners to “get involved” with the transportation funding bill this session, as an opportunity to influence where millions of dollars meant for transport will be allocated.

The commission asked what data would be gathered at the charging stations. They want to know how and when the chargers get used, but they also said they did not want consumers’ information abused or exploited. Rivian said it gathers anonymized information about usage and would report regularly to the state to help improve the network.

The commission acknowledged that for the new charging network to be truly green, Parks and Wildlife and Rivian must look into alternative and renewable energy sources to power the charging stations. Some charging stations on the market are solar-powered.





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MisterTea

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That's great! Electric car's biggest issue is charging. There are chargers everywhere, but the majority are awful or painfully slow. The high-wattage ones rarely work or don't put out anywhere near what they promise to. It also doesn't help when manufacturers make their own networks like Tesla and Rivian instead of adding to the lot. Hopefully over the next 5 years as more and more electric cars come out, the charging networks all stabilize.
 

MisterTea

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I also hope Colorado's Parks and Wildlife Commission made a deal with Rivian that you can drive through the park too 😝
 

LoneStar

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Level 2 chargers .... :facepalm:
 
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electruck

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Level 2 chargers .... :facepalm:
I think the idea is that you would be spending enough time in the park for L2 chargers to be "right sized". DCFC stations are more appropriate in "stop-and-go" environments such as along a major highway where you want to recharge while stopping for a bio break and perhaps grabbing a bite to eat but then getting back on the road quickly.

A couple of L2 chargers will hopefully be an easier add to a park's existing electric than DCFC which will also allow them to be operational much sooner (likely a year or more). Rivian has already demonstrated they will be adding DCFC stations in places such as Salida.
 

CommodoreAmiga

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L2 EVSEs are less expensive to purchase and install, are smaller, and have considerably easier power requirements to satisfy in State Park locations.

I'd rather see a LOT of L2 EVSEs in the parking lot of a State Park rather than one or two DCFC EVSEs.

Even if you only spend two hours for a quick hike, you'll gain ~50 miles range. That could be the difference between being able to make the stop, in the first place, and having enough range to get back to the highway and a DCFC location.

I hope more states follow suite!
 

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Whoohoo! First charging station to be installed in July!

I do expect these L2 stations will be dominated by Tesla vehicles over the next couple of years, which will be a little odd since Rivian is paying to build them and Tesla has its own closed network.

Maybe Rivian can install them at the end of a ramp with a high approach angle that no M3 driver would dare. I’m mostly kidding. :p
 

mkennedy1996

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I do expect these L2 stations will be dominated by Tesla vehicles over the next couple of years, which will be a little odd since Rivian is paying to build them and Tesla has its own closed network.
That is a good point about these charges being occupied by other BEVs.

Are the Rivian Network DC fast chargers limited to just Rivian vehicles or can they also be used by other BEVs?
 

Rhidan

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That is a good point about these charges being occupied by other BEVs.

Are the Rivian Network DC fast chargers limited to just Rivian vehicles or can they also be used by other BEVs?
In Salida, Rivian planned to make the L2 stations open to all BEVs and limit the L3 to Rivian vehicles. However, they left themselves the option of opening L3 to all CCS BEVs at any time -- they would just need to make a quick software change.
 

Pixelshot

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All state parks in Colorado will get electric vehicle charging stations in deal with EV maker Rivian

"The project aims to install two Rivian Level 2 chargers, which would be universally compatible with all EV makes and models in the U.S., at each of Colorado’s 42 state parks..."

https://coloradosun.com/2021/03/18/colorado-gets-electric-car-charges-for-all-parks/
1616077778953.png


For those of us who live in Colorado - this is amazing! For anyone who wants to visit, this is the perfect excuse!
 

CommodoreAmiga

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I do expect these L2 stations will be dominated by Tesla vehicles over the next couple of years, which will be a little odd since Rivian is paying to build them and Tesla has its own closed network.
Charging ports are in different locations. Maybe Rivian can orient the EVSE in such a way, with a short enough cable, that it can charge a Rivian but not a Tesla.

That'd be nice hehe
 

Bumble1978

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Whoohoo! First charging station to be installed in July!

I do expect these L2 stations will be dominated by Tesla vehicles over the next couple of years, which will be a little odd since Rivian is paying to build them and Tesla has its own closed network.

Maybe Rivian can install them at the end of a ramp with a high approach angle that no M3 driver would dare. I’m mostly kidding. :p
But if it's an early 2000's Exx M5 with Clive Owen behind the wheel, he'd reverse power break perfectly into the spot after careening off an adjacent curb, and I'd applaud.

But yeah a current gen M3...nope. Is that ageism? Brandism? Modelism? 🤔😉🤣
 

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