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Colorado aboard plan to promote electric vehicle use across West

October 4, 2017 Updated: October 4, 2017 at 2:35 pm
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A charging station in a city-owned parking garage at Bijou and Cascade in downtown Colorado Springs. Colorado has joined a coalition of Western states aiming to electrify more than 5,000 miles of highway corridors. Gazette file photo by Jerilee Bennett/The Gazette

Colorado has joined a coalition of western states aiming to electrify more than 5,000 miles of highways.

The Regional Electric Vehicle West Plan, signed by the governors of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico and Wyoming on Wednesday, commits states to expanding electric vehicle charging stations on Interstates 25, 70 and 76, among others in the region. The plan also hopes to encourage electric vehicle manufacturers to market a variety of car options, incorporate charging station infrastructure into building codes and promote education on electric transportation.

"This framework is another example of the innovation and bipartisan collaboration happening around energy here in the West," said Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. "Through this collaboration, we will drive economic growth and promote our outdoor recreation opportunities across our states."

The group estimates that more than 20,000 electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids are on the roads in the West. The governors say they want to capitalize on the expanding electric vehicle market, providing communities with the infrastructure necessary to keep up with the trend.

"By knitting together the plans of seven key states through cooperative partnerships one to another, America's travelers will soon be able to experience the wonders of the West while enjoying the innovations of our day and advancing environmental outcomes," Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said.

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