Montrose’s slogan is “Stay here–Play everywhere.” With more than 25 electric vehicle charging stations in and around town, the city hopes to tempt travelers to use Montrose as a base to have fun in town, as well as explore neighboring attractions. Charging stations are located at North 1st Street. Centennial Plaza, the hospital, the rec center, locations in the Oxbow shopping area and the Colorado Outdoors complex.
At the city’s North 1st Street EV charging lot there are eight Tesla Level 1 units and two Level 3
ChargePoint Dual Platform (CCS & CHAdeMo fast chargers)
• Level 1 is the slowest type of charging–a full charge can take up to 24 hours (or more).
• Level 2 can take about eight hours, suitable for overnight charging (for example at a hotel.)
• Level 3 (which includes Tesla’s Superchargers and DC fast charger. Tesla has changed its policy to allow electric vehicles (EVs) other than Teslas to use their chargers, but it’s not yet in effect in Colorado.
While charging their EV, visitors can walk to the Visitors Center at South 1st and Cascade. There they will find brochures, maps, books and souvenirs of Montrose and the surrounding areas. Suggestions abound about what to do while waiting for the car,
Some drivers are anxious about how far they can drive after charging. Here are some examples of distances available by vehicle per minute of charging:
According to the Edison Electric Institute, it’s estimated that there will be more than 18 million EVs on the road by 2030. As part of the new Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, nearly $5 billion will be dedicated to building out a national EV charging network over 5 years. Although EV charging isn’t as reliable as filling up at a gas station yet, it’s becoming easier and more available. In the meantime, rest assured you won’t have much difficulty charging your vehicle as long as you use supporting apps and plan your route accordingly.
John Voelker, automotive journalist specializing in electric vehicles, states: “The cheapest way to charge your electric car is almost always at home, overnight. Some utilities have special low rates for the overnight period when their demand is lightest.”
“A conservative rule of thumb is that an electric car gets 3 to 4 miles per kWh,” Voelcker says. “So divide the total miles you drive each month by 3 to get the kWh you would use monthly. Multiply that number by your cost per kWh. The dollar amount you get will most likely be lower than what you pay each month to buy gasoline.”
Montrose charges run from $.20 to $.40 per kilowatt hour (kWh) according to Montrose Mayor Barbara Bynum who owns an EV and charges it mostly in her garage.
Tesla offers four charging tiers. One important caveat: Select Tesla Superchargers now work for non-Tesla vehicles. The non-Tesla Supercharger pilot began in November 2021 in Europe, and earlier this year, the Supercharger network began opening select locations to non-Tesla cars.
When EVs were first introduced, the average driving range topped out at about 80 miles. Things have changed a lot in just a few years, and these days, there are quite a few EVs on the market that can travel more than 200 miles between charges.
David Congour of Montrose had this to say: “I have a 2017 Chevy Bolt … best car I’ve ever owned. Will never go back to an internal combustion-based car. I’ve had 16 cars previous, and did all of my work on every one of them. Driving mine in the winter drops range from about 260 down to 190 miles, but with every passing year, the range is increasing, charging time is dropping and more chargers are available.”
Certain factors may affect the range of the electric vehicle including driving speed, outdoor temperature, use of air conditioning and heat and carrying extra weight.
Ann Kennedy of Mancos made this comment: “We have had a Nissan Leaf since October 2019 as our only car. We rent a car for road trips. The charger in our garage on solar works for our situation.”
Mavis Bennett is a freelance writer for the Montrose Business Times.