One of the best Western states to own an electric vehicle is Colorado. With many charging stations and incentives, Colorado is a great place for aspiring EV car owners. Here’s what you need to know.
Colorado Charging Infrastructure
The Centennial State has spent quite a few years building up its charging infrastructure. In Spring of 2018, the Colorado Energy Office launched its own Electric Vehicle (EV) Fast-Charging infrastructure grant program. With a $10.33 million grant, they built out over 34 electric vehicle fast-charging stations across the state.
And that’s just the start. They are a part of the NAVI plan to have 500,000 EV chargers along major interstates and highways. Colorado has about 63,927 electric vehicles registered in the state alone and over 3,500 charging stations (including fast charging).
How many charging stations does Colorado have?
Colorado currently has 3,925 charging stations, with many in Boulder, Colorado Springs, Denver, Fort Collins, Grand Junction, and Pueblo. Other areas in Colorado also have charging stations, and the state has plans to increase the number over the next five years.
Types of Charging Stations
Your type of electric vehicle will determine how you charge it. Colorado, fortunately, provides a wide range of public charging stations to accommodate diverse automobile types and charging requirements. Here are the different types you should know about.
Colorado has more than 250 free charging stations to charge your vehicle free. Many of these are level 1 or slower chargers, so they’ll take longer to charge your vehicle than a fast or supercharger. But you can’t beat free!
Fast chargers shorten charging times by charging an electric car’s battery directly; many can do so in under an hour. Colorado has over 400 fast-charging plugs.
A DC charger, the CHAdeMO works with most electric cars. These include electric vehicles made from Mitsubishi, Kia, Toyota, Nissan, and Fuji.
A rapid charging plug is the Combined Charging System, or CCS for short. They are identified as CCS1 chargers in North America. These chargers support both AC and DC charging. Your car can use this charger on an all-electric BMW, Ford, Jaguar, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Mazda, Tesla, or Volkswagen.
This type can charge a car in an hour or less but only work with Tesla automobiles at this time (all models).
At the start of 2024, owners of Ford and General Motors (GM) EVs will be able to use adaptors to charge at Tesla Superchargers. And at the start of 2025, both companies will feature Tesla’s North American Charging Standard connector, thus moving the U.S. auto industry towards one standard connector.
Every Level 1 and Level 2 charging station in North America that is not a Tesla uses the J Plug, also known as an SAE J1772 connector. The J Plug can charge EVs from almost any manufacturer, including Nissan, Ford, Toyota, and more.
Where are the charging stations located?
Charging stations in Colorado are located in most major cities and their surrounding areas, including Boulder, Breckenridge, Colorado Springs, Craig, Denver (and surrounding areas), Durango, Edwards, Fort Collins, Fort Morgan, Glenwood Springs, Grand Junction, Greeley, Pueblo, and Sterling.
Cost of Owning an EV in Colorado
In Colorado, purchasing an electric vehicle can be a smart financial and environmental decision. But that doesn’t mean it’s a cheap choice. Here’s what you need to know about buying popular electric cars in Colorado.
Thanks to its low starting price, plenty of safety features, and engaging driving experience, the 2023 Nissan Leaf is great for those who need to commute daily. However, a limited fast-charging capacity and small batteries may not be the best choice for some residents. The Nissan Leaf models come in S (40 kWh battery) and SV (60 kWh). Starting under $30,000, it can seem like a great deal, but those batteries only go to under 200 miles. So if you need longer mileage, you may want to look elsewhere. Otherwise, this is a great starter EV.
You will pay between $7.80 and $18 to charge your car, with home charging costing around $0.13 per kWh and public charging costing $0.30 per kWh. And, since Colorado has “off-peak” hours for most of their electric companies, you could save money if charging your car late at night or early in the morning.
Tesla Model Y
The Tesla Model Y is among the most well-liked and popular EVs, and for good reason. This SUV can go from 0 to 60 MPH in under 4.8 seconds and has a 330-mile range on a single charge with its 81 kWh 350 V lithium-ion battery. But it’s incredibly expensive, starting at $53,490 for the base model.
However, if you’re willing to pony up the cash, you’ll get access to superchargers and the ability to charge your car in less than two hours (usually within 45 minutes to an hour!). If charging at home, budget between $0.13 per kWh and $0.50 per kWh for public use. That means your final cost will be around $9.75 to $28.50.
Ford F-150 Lightning
All F-150 Lightning variants come equipped with an all-wheel drive and two electric motors. For a truck this massive, it can handle like a dream and hits 60 mph in under 4 seconds. Not bad. It also charges incredibly fast.
The 131.0-kWh battery increases the driving range to 320 miles, while the smaller 98.0-kWh battery has around 230 miles of drive time. Residents can charge their F-150 Lightning at home using 110- and 220-volt outlets, and the truck can also be charged at public DC fast-charging stations, only taking around 44 minutes to charge, according to Ford.
The truck has 78 MPGe city driving and 63 MPGe on the highway, according to the EPA. Which means you can drive for quite a while before needing to charge. If charging at home, you’ll spend around $0.13 per kWh and a little more than $0.40 per kWh if charging in public. That means your final cost will be around $12.74 to $52.40 to charge in full.
MINI Electric Cooper
If you’re starting your EV journey but don’t want to budget for an expensive car or won’t be driving long-range, MINI Electric Cooper is a great option, The Electric Cooper only gets 110 miles per charge, the lowest on this list. A new one costs $30,000 fully loaded, and a used one is even cheaper. It does offer a 28.9-kWh battery and is pretty zippy, getting from 0 to 60 in less than 7 seconds.
It’s also cheap to charge, costing only around $0.13 per KWH at home and $0.22 per KWH in public. That means you’ll only spend around $3.77 to $6.38 to charge.
Colorado Electric Vehicle Incentives
Colorado is one of the few states that offer a state tax incentive for electric car purchases, starting at a $1,500 tax credit and going up to $10,000 for certain qualified EVs.
They also offer a grant program for residents who want to install a home charging station. And, if you purchase an EV, you can bypass sales tax and emissions inspections. That’s quite a bit of saving in just a year!
Owning an EV in Colorado Wrap Up
Colorado has tried to make it as easy (and wallet-friendly) as possible for its residents to purchase and own an electric vehicle. And it seems to be working, with over 68,000 people driving registered EVs. And you could be one of them!
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Flickr user: Larry Johnson https://www.flickr.com/people/drljohnson/, CC BY 2.0