Electric Byways Tourism Toolkit

The Electric Byways Tourism Toolkit helps your community or business install and promote electric vehicle charging stations along Colorado’s 26 Scenic and Historic Byways. Our goal is to make traveling Colorado’s scenic byways in an electric vehicle as convenient as possible.

Benefits of electric vehicle tourism include:

  • attracting a new niche audience to rural areas
  • reducing local emissions
  • keeping Colorado’s natural areas and tourist attractions clean

You can install electric vehicle chargers any place you want tourists to stop. Colorado will electrify byways through both:

  • direct current (DC) rapid charging stations
  • destination charging at hotels, lodges, tourist attractions, trailheads, and downtown commercial areas

An Electrified Byway designation guarantees that an electric vehicle driver can make a byway journey without worry that a car’s battery will run out of charge before the next charging station.

Overview

Type: Toolkit

For: Tourism partners

OEDIT division: Colorado Tourism Office

Colorado Department of Local Affairs

The Colorado Department of Local Affairs supports electrified byways through two grants.

Colorado Main Street Program
This program gives mini-grants to communities that use other funding for charging stations in downtown areas. Main Street communities may also ask for technical assistance to plan and design electric vehicle solutions.

Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Funds
These funds help local governments add alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure into fleet management programs. The Colorado Energy Office offers funding support for charging stations through the Charge Ahead Colorado grant.

Colorado Energy Office

The Colorado Energy Office manages the following program to support electric vehicle charging stations.

Charge Ahead Colorado
Charge Ahead Colorado provides financial support for electric vehicle charging stations. Charge Ahead Colorado typically has three application rounds per year. Public and private entities can apply for grants to install Level 2 or Level 3 charging stations, specifically at tourist destinations.

Eligibility

The Colorado Department of Transportation can install highway signage for eligible direct current (DC) fast-charging locations that have:

  • DC fast-charging equipment with CCS and CHAdeMO port compatibility
  • maximum distance from interchange of one mile in urban areas or three miles in rural areas
  • public restroom facilities
  • service available a minimum of 12 hours per day and seven days per week
  • drinking water

How to apply

To request a highway sign for your direct current (DC) fast-charging station, you will need: 

  • a detailed map or aerial photo of the facility
  • a photo or other proof of a station visible from the interstate crossroads
  • onsite signing indicating the availability of charging at the location
  • a completed Highway Sign Request Form (PDF)

Email these documents to Mike King, Assistant Director of Electrification and Energy, Office of Innovative Mobility at Colorado Department of Transportation.

You can take these steps to market to electric vehicle owners:

  1. List your electric vehicle station on the following websites:
  2. Promote your community’s electric vehicle charging stations on social media channels. Enlist local electric vehicle drivers to comment positively on social media channels about charging stations in your community.
  3. Apply for Tourism Paid Media Cooperative. This program provides matching funds and discounts to help tourism partners advertise through group purchasing and discounts.
  4. Visit our Colo-Road Trips Toolkit for more tips.

Colorado Electric Vehicle Plan
In 2018 Colorado released its first electric vehicle plan to develop electric vehicle fast-charging corridors across the state and set a goal of 940,000 electric vehicles by 2030.

ReCharge Colorado
ReCharge Colorado coaches help consumers, local governments, workplaces, and multiunit housing developments identify savings, grant opportunities and other advantages related to electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. ReCharge coaches also help build local stakeholder support for adopting electric vehicles.

Clean Energy Economy for the Region
Based in Carbondale, Clean Energy Economy for the Region’s mission is to speed up the transition to a clean energy economy, increase energy independence, and reduce our contribution to climate change.

Garfield Clean Energy
Garfield Clean Energy helps the residents, businesses, and local governments of Garfield County become more energy-efficient and use clean energy to create a stronger, more resilient economy.

Clean Cities Coalition Network
This national network leads public-private partnerships to develop electric vehicle network support.

National Renewable Energy Lab Sustainable Mobility Initiative
This initiative supports activities that provide information and research on trends, technology, and needs.

Petroleum Cleanup and Redevelopment Fund
This fund accepts applications to investigate and clean up contamination at abandoned former gas stations and other petroleum storage tank properties.

U.S. Department of Energy Funding, Financing, and Technical Support for Electric Vehicles
This program provides guidance on applying for federal funds to support a local electric vehicle network.

Program Manager

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