National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Program Key Takeaways and Requirements

Highline Electric Association adds potential game changer to the EV charging world

New fast-charging station commission I-76 in Colorado. One of the major impediments to the development of a rural electric (EV) charging network is the nature of the local power system needed to keep charging times meaningful for consumers. That is why the recent installation of a new charging station by Holyoke, Colo.-based Highline Electric Association (HEA) may very well be a game changer for rural areas across the state.

It’s anticipated that by the year 2040, manufacturers will sell more electric vehicles (EVs) than gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles combined. With improvements to battery technology and a growing list of models on the market, EV sales are surging. With more EVs on the road, the need for reliable charging infrastructure has never been more important.

While most EV drivers set up a charging station at home, that option doesn’t address the charging needs for those who are traveling cross country. To reach a meaningful charge quickly while traveling, EV drivers rely on public commercial chargers which have to meet the power requirement of a Direct-Current, Fast-Charger (DCFC). With the power requirement, DCFCs are not as readily available or are not in optimal locations, which limits where rural utilities can place them.

This is where California-based FreeWire Technologies hopes to change the nature of the game and help alleviate range anxiety for consumers, through the unique use of existing single-phase rural distribution systems and battery storage technology. Supported by Tri-State, Highline Electric Association (HEA) is working with FreeWire Technologies to lead the charge quite literally in northeast Colorado. Through the Responsible Energy Plan, Tri-State committed $45k to each member co-op and public power district to extend the public electric vehicle charging network across members’ service areas and to promote EVs and EV solutions in rural areas.


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