Red and Blue Colorado Wants Relief from Pain at the Pump – Natural Resources Defense Council
Bipartisanship may be an endangered species in D.C., but it is alive in Colorado, where Senators Kevin Priola (R) and Angela Williams (D) were the prime sponsors of legislation that aimed to give Coloradans access to cleaner, cheaper, transportation fuels.
Senators Don Coram (R), Lois Court (D), Stephen Fenberg (D), and Beth Martinez Humenik (R) joined them as co-sponsors of Senate Bill (SB) 18-216, a remarkable demonstration of bipartisan support for a bill that would have allowed utilities to facilitate the deployment of charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs).
Skeptics raised questions as to whether EV charging would strain Colorado’s electric grid, but real-world data from California, which has nearly 400,000 EVs on the road reveals that EVs are not crashing the grid. Only 0.16% of EVs in the state have required a grid upgrade, accounting for less than one one-hundredth of one percent of utility distribution system expenditures.
In fact, because EVs are generally charged during hours of the day when there is plenty of spare capacity in the grid (e.g., in the middle of the night when people are sleeping), the additional revenue that comes from those electricity sales exceeds associated costs. This spreads the cost of the grid over more kilowatt-hours sold, reducing the price per kilowatt-hour, putting downward pressure on utility rates and bills as a result.
A report conducted by MJ Bradley and Associates quantified that impact, finding that widespread EV adoption would reduce Colorado utility customer bills by $4.1 billion by 2050. The same analysis estimates that widespread EV adoption would save Colorado drivers nearly $30 billion by 2050 in reduced fuel and maintenance expenditures.
Net Present Value of Cumulative Net Benefits from Widespread EV Adoption in Colorado, MJ Bradley and Associates
Unfortunately, Coloradans may not realize those benefits unless legislation like