| Categories: EV Enthusiasts
One of the core strategies of Drive Electric Northern Colorado is the development of partnerships throughout the community to advance installation of EV charging stations, host Ride and Drive events, and educate community members about driving electric. One of DENC’s long-time partners, McWHINNEY, began influencing EV adoption in Northern Colorado in 2013 by partnering with DENC on various EV activities. The following blog outlines McWHINNEY’s experience in the EV space, and provides examples of how innovative businesses and particularly leading development companies like McWHINNEY can play an active role in driving EV adoption.
McWHINNEY, a Colorado-based real estate development firm with offices in Loveland and Denver, is a team of talented professionals who are passionate about creating great places and providing fabled experiences. Since 1991, McWHINNEY has planned and developed more than 6,000 acres of innovative and sustainable master-planned communities and more than 6.5 million square feet of vertical commercial and mixed-use properties throughout the Rocky Mountain region and the West Coast.
In 2013, when DENC launched, McWHINNEY partnered with the program to find ways to advance EV adoption in our region. Our first efforts together in 2013 included a Ride and Drive event with the Centerra Motorplex auto dealers and business leaders. The unique opportunities that are facilitated because of DENC and McWHINNEY’s work together, such as those that stemmed from the Centerra Motorplex dealers, is one of the more inventive aspects of our partnership.
The first Ride and Drive event laid the foundation for numerous additional Ride and Drive events over the last four years that have been tailored to help educate and inform residents and employees that live and work within McWHINNEY’s master planned community—Centerra.
“Incorporating EV Ride and Drives within our community lifestyle programming has offered hands-on education not experienced in other areas,” said Celeste Smith, Director of Brand Experience. “The format is casual, informative (not salesy) and provides the community with an opportunity to experience and engage EV firsthand in a low pressure and friendly environment.”
McWHINNEY has hosted numerous Ride and Drives with DENC, including an annual shuttle stop for a local Sculpture Show that includes complimentary and hassle-free EV rides from one end of town to the other. This event provided the opportunity for hundreds of Loveland residents and out-of-state visitors to experience EVs firsthand, many experiencing an EV for the first time. In addition, DENC and McWHINNEY collaboratively hosted Ride and Drives throughout the community at nearby retail, residential and office locations. The Promenade Shops at Centerra and the Marketplace at Centerra allowed shoppers to test-drive EVs onsite while attending an event or taking a break from shopping. Residents could become more educated with EVs when The Lakes at Centerra partnered with the High Plains Environmental Center to offer rides during their spring plant event. At the Centerra Rangeview Office Campus, local employers were offered rides during the lunch hour while attending a food truck rally.
In addition to numerous Ride and Drives, McWHINNEY has been at the forefront of installing EV charging stations within its Centerra master-planned community. In fact, many of the EV charging stations in the city of Loveland are owned and operated by McWHINNEY including a Level 3 charging station at the Marketplace at Centerra and two Level 2 charging stations at Hahns Peak Office Campus. Two of McWHINNEY’s Motorplex dealers have also installed Level 2 charging stations: Co’s BMW and Davidson Gebhardt Chevrolet.
These contributions to EV infrastructure in Loveland have been a valuable component to increasing EV adoption and providing sustainable transportation options in the northern Colorado region.
“As leaders of our community, we continue to provide options and education to stay on top of the latest technology advancements like electric and autonomous vehicles. Being able to adapt, adjust and support sustainable initiatives now and into the future will allow our region to remain current as well as a destination of choice,” David Crowder, VP of Community Development and General Manager of Centerra.
McWHINNEY has also been an influential resource in helping to disseminate information about EVs through DENC’s educational campaigns to Centerra customers, residents, and employees. Some of these programs have included DENC’s Group Buy programs, tax credit education seminars, and others.
Nationally, development companies like McWHINNEY are becoming more involved with advancing EV adoption, as they realize their unique positions in the creation of master planned communities to help influence businesses and consumers in their sustainability efforts and decisions. David Crowder offered this advice to companies seeking to increase involvement with similar activities:
“Align yourself with a great partner like DENC who serves as a regional resource of expertise, knowledge and who has the ability to organize volunteer opportunities that promote community engagement and educational opportunities in a low-pressure, non-sales environment.”
For the past four years, this mutually beneficial partnership has not only resulted in increased adoption of EVs in fleets and by consumers regionally, but it has also allowed McWHINNEY to further their commitment to sustainability by staying on the cutting edge of technology in transportation.
To find ways to get involved with EV adoption, visit DENC’s EV Program’s tab on our homepage of the website.