Editor’s note: Excerpted from ‘Pioneer Town News,’ the Fall 2019 SCVHS Newsletter

Three facts are certain. First, Pioneer Town sits at a strategic location. It is at the eastern gateway to the Grand Mesa National Scenic and Historic Byway, better known as Colorado Highway 65. The Byway is a 63-mile link between two major transportation corridors, I-70 and U.S. 50. Second, electric vehicles are emerging as an alternative to internal combustion-powered vehicles. Third, there are no charging stations in Cedaredge, a gap in the growing network of charging stations.

SCVHS has submitted an Electric Vehicle Charging Station, or EVCS, funding application to Charge Ahead Colorado where the grant process for our area is managed by the Colorado Energy Office. Charge Ahead Colorado was launched in 2013 to provide grants for electric vehicles and community based EVCSs to improve air quality and accelerate the deployment of EVs across Colorado. The maximum grant SCVHS can expect from Charge Ahead Colorado is $9,000 (80%). The SCVHS board of directors has pledged $2,250.00 (20%) from its treasury to support the project.

Although the 80/20 sum from the grant process yields $11,250, the full cost estimate for the project is $17,095. That leaves $5,845 to be raised elsewhere. If funding is provided through Charge Ahead Colorado, SCVHS will be seeking the needed additional funding from area economic/tourism/business councils, civic organizations, municipal and county governments, and community funds and is hoping to assemble resources such as qualified volunteer labor to offset some of that expense.

The organization believes its investment in this station will improve Delta County infrastructure and economy, improve the health and welfare of its citizens, and be a benefit to its natural environment. By having an EVCS on the byway, Delta County will be helping to remove resistance to owning electric vehicles (EVs) and will put more EVs on county roads thereby improving air quality by reducing carbon-based emissions from gasoline and diesel fueled vehicles. The Cedaredge byway location will give EV owners the confidence of a charge sufficient to traverse and explore the natural wonders of The Grand Mesa or other destinations in Delta County. We expect guests to spend two hours or more at the museum and the Cedaredge downtown area, so their vehicles will receive an adequate charge to make it to their next destination. While charging their EVs, owners will contribute to the Delta County economy by visiting and buying goods and services at Cedaredge businesses. As EV owners travel to other parts of Delta County, economic benefits will accrue there as well.

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