Two surveys on the city of Durango’s website gathering input on the potential use of electric vehicle charging stations in town will be used in determining where EV drivers juice up their cars next year.
Durango is considering installing a charging station at Durango Community Recreation Center and Durango Public Library for commuters to top off their car batteries, but no logistics or finalized plans have been discussed, said Imogen Ainsworth, the city sustainability coordinator.
The surveys will help Durango determine the interest and demand of increasing the EV-charging infrastructure at those two locations.
“This is really just the first step,” Ainsworth said. The input will be used to make decisions about whether to pursue funding for the stations, she added.
The cost of a charge at the proposed new locations has not yet been determined. The city plans to look at the feasibility and benefits of the project after the survey closes.
By July 2018, there were 67 personal EVs driving around La Plata County, according to a report from the Colorado Department of Revenue and Motor Vehicles.
Ainsworth said municipalities are starting to realize the state will see more EVs on the road and the need to be prepared with the appropriate infrastructure. She said language in the Municipal Sustainability Action Plan talks about providing access to alternative fuel infrastructure, specifically EV charging.
The surveys are the first step in applying for the Charge Ahead Colorado grant through the Colorado Energy Office. Ainsworth said the grant is the most common way for municipalities and private entities to install this type of infrastructure and that the grant was used for adding EV infrastructure at the Transit Center. If the city does not receive the grant, it is likely installation would either be delayed or reconsidered.
If the city moves forward with the stations, users could start charging in 2020.
The surveys can be accessed on the city’s website at www.durangogov.org/virtualcityhall.
Ainsworth said it is helpful for her and her team if people register on the website before completing the surveys. The surveys will close at 8 a.m. Aug 30. As of Thursday, 14 people had responded to the two surveys.