The city of Denver’s Office of Climate Action, Sustainability, and Resiliency (CASR) is working with local nonprofit Colorado CarShare to install seven shareable electric cars (EVs) at six new charging stations across the city. The new fleet includes Nissan Leafs, Chevy Bolts, and Chevy Volts. The project is in response to the transportation problems people are facing during the pandemic, whether due to transit services being cut or fear of using public transport. The effort is also inline with CASR’s plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions: as per Denver’s Electric Vehicle Action Plan, 30 percent of its vehicle registrations will be electric by 2030. By the year 2050, 100% of the city’s light-duty vehicles are scheduled to be electric.
The vehicles are intended to be financially and logistically feasible for all residents, especially frontline workers and others who have been most challenged by the pandemic’s mobility restrictions. Colorado CarShare will waive its regular membership fee and give driving credit to up to 450 low-income drivers.
To choose locations for the charging stations, CASR used municipal equity indexes to identify under-resourced neighborhoods where the investments might make the most impact. The city allocated $300,000 of federal CARES Act funding to support the deployment of the EVs and the necessary charging infrastructure. Colorado CarShare and CASR plan to survey members and analyze usage statistics to evaluate and improve its impact on the city’s climate and economy as the program expands.
“Locating electric car share vehicles where people need them, and providing discounted rates, advances Denver’s equity and climate change goals,” said Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “This initiative will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, increase mobility options and advance social equity by connecting more of our communities with accessible transportation options like biking, transit and now EV car sharing.”