Electric Vehicle Level 3 charging station coming to Buena Vista

Electric vehicle charging

Buena Vista area drivers will soon have access to the most modern electric vehicle charging stations available. A $39,000 grant from the State of Colorado has been awarded to Sangre de Cristo Electric Association, Inc. to install Level 2 and Level 3 Electric Vehicle charging units at South Main by February, 2019.

The grant was awarded as part of the Charge Ahead Colorado program. The program is administered by the Colorado Energy Office to encourage use of electric vehicles to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote energy security through reliance on domestic electricity, and drive an innovative market for new technology.

Electric vehicle chargers now fall in to one of three categories. A Level 1 charger is generally for home use and typically requires an eight-hour charge to re-power a vehicle after the battery has been discharged. A Level 2 charger generally takes three hours to charge a vehicle. Two dual-slot Level 2 chargers have been installed by the Town of Buena Vista. A Level 3 charger cuts charging time down to one-half hour. The South Main charging stations installed by SDCEA will have two slots for Level 2 charges, and one for Level 3 charges.

An example of what the charging station in Buena Vista will look like.
Photo used with permission from Colorado Energy Office.

The general purpose of this project is to deploy electric vehicle charging stations throughout the state of Colorado. Range anxiety, or the inability to find public charging, currently discourages the purchase of electric vehicles. Installing charging stations, known as Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE), alleviates that concern and allows electric vehicles to proliferate, according to the Colorado Energy Office.

The charging stations will be located in the now-undeveloped parking area northwest of the Eddyline Restaurant. Open for public use, the charging stations will accommodate a variety of electric vehicle makes and models. There are no non-Telsa Level 3 charging stations in the region currently. The fee structure for use of the station has not yet been determined.

Besides being convenient to access for local drivers, the station is expected to bring an economic benefit to the area, attracting visitors to pull off US 285/24 to charge their vehicles. Data collected from use of the station will be used for consumer education and to determine use patterns and the economic model needed for future charging stations.

“This EVSE project and grant request is complementary to SDCEA’s efforts to install a 2-megawatt solar facility at the local Colorado Department of Corrections Buena Vista Correctional Complex,” Sangre de Cristo Electric Association CEO Paul Erickson said.  “Each of these projects is being done by SDCEA in partnership with other state or local governmental organizations which all support smart investments in renewable energy and technologies.”

Sangre de Cristo Electric Assn., Inc. is based in Buena Vista, with a service warehouse in Westcliffe. SDCEA provides electricity to approximately 13,000 consumers in the mountains of central Colorado. For more information about SDCEA, visit the company’s website, myelectric.coop.