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In January of this year, the City of Fort Collins took its first steps toward developing a comprehensive plan to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in the local community. The plan is called the EV Readiness Roadmap. The city is taking action to promote EVs because it views them as essential to reaching its air quality and Climate Action Plan goals. EVs emit zero street-level pollution and they have lower lifetime carbon emissions than traditional gasoline-powered vehicles.
The plan is being written to achieve synergies with Fort Collins Utilities as they gear up for their analyses of the electric grid distribution system. The widespread usage of EVs presents opportunities for smarter electric grid management that can help to improve grid resilience and performance, cut costs, and reduce emissions. Vehicle-to-grid technology would enable the city to charge and discharge EV batteries in a way that optimizes electricity usage throughout the city.
The team behind the EV Roadmap recently conducted a survey of Fort Collins residents to assess ideas and sentiments around EVs. More than 450 locals responded to the survey. The results show considerable awareness about EVs in the community and generally positive feelings toward them, but also highlight areas of needed focus for continued public education and outreach.
The race and ethnic demographics of survey respondents were similar to those of Fort Collins as a whole; however, household income and level of education were significantly higher for respondents than for Fort Collins generally. That being said, respondents of all income levels answered similarly.
Some of the promising results of the survey were that most respondents feel the current generation of EVs could meet their travel needs and that respondents were generally familiar with EVs and have had some level of interaction with them. Results which demonstrate a need for more outreach and education include a lack of knowledge of state and federal incentives and the belief that EVs are “slow” or “low-power.” If you want to help promote EVs in Fort Collins, you can play an important role by helping to fill in some of these gaps in knowledge about EVs among your friends and colleagues!
The following chart summarizes respondents’ perception of EVs and highlights strengths and weaknesses in EV knowledge in the community:
|Statement||% of Respondents that Agree|
|Electric vehicles are very quiet.||93%|
|I could use an electric vehicle to drive to most places I regularly drive.||77%|
|Electric vehicles save money on fuel.||77%|
|Sales of electric vehicles in Colorado will continue to increase.||76%|
|I am familiar with electric vehicles.||73%|
|Electric vehicles are the most fuel efficient option available.||69%|
|I like electric vehicles.||68%|
|Electric vehicles are the most environmentally friendly vehicles out there.||66%|
|Electric vehicles are safe.||65%|
|Electric vehicles look good.||54%|
|Electric vehicles have great performance.||50%|
|Electric vehicles are an affordable option for me.||42%|
|In the next three years, I expect to own or lease an electric vehicle.||31%|
Carrie Frickman, Fort Collins Climate Program Coordinator and one of the leads on the EV Roadmap team, commented on the plan, saying, “As a team, we are now moving into the development of specific actions and strategies as a part of our EV planning effort. What excites me the most about this process has been our holistic approach – thinking about how EVs fit into our Fort Collins transportation ecosystem and getting to work with an amazing diverse group of stakeholders.”
If you call Fort Collins home, you must be very excited to be living in such a forward-thinking community committed to leveraging the latest technologies to improve the lives of local residents! The EV Readiness Roadmap is scheduled to be complete at the end of September 2018, so be on the lookout for more details at that time!
Interested in learning more? Want to participate? You can contact Carrie Frickman, Climate Program Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or Aaron Iverson, Senior Transportation Planner at email@example.com. You can find more information about the EV Readiness Roadmap on the city’s webpage.