Our Plan to Make Utah the Premier State for Electric Vehicles

Rocky Mountain Power has a plan to transform Utah into the ideal place to own an electric vehicle.

Rocky Mountain Power has a plan to transform Utah into the ideal place to own an electric vehicle.

Why is an energy company getting involved with electric vehicles?

Because electric vehicles run on electricity. Rocky Mountain Power knows electricity, and wants to make it easier for drivers to own and use electric vehicles.

This matters because getting more drivers to use electric vehicles can significantly reduce carbon emissions and help improve air quality.

Improving air quality in Utah

Along the Wasatch Front, more than half of air pollution comes from motor vehicles, according to the Utah Division of Air Quality. Urban areas in particular suffer from air quality problems, particularly during winter inversions.

Building programs to increase the use of electric vehicles can have a major impact on smog and air inversions. An even greater benefit comes when electric vehicles are charged with energy from renewable sources, such as solar or wind.

This two-pronged approach brings carbon emissions down to zero for:

  1. The vehicle itself
  2. The energy source that powers the vehicle

Helping electric vehicle owners

One of the biggest challenges that current electric vehicle owners face is worrying about how far they can drive before needing another charge. Rocky Mountain Power’s plan will make this worry a thing of the past by installing hundreds of rapid-charging stations throughout Utah and the west.

The three most significant barriers to buying electric vehicles include:

  • Limited range of travel
  • Inconvenience of charging
  • Higher upfront costs compared to gas-powered vehicles

According to the Utah Clean Cities Coalition, there are approximately 2,100 electric vehicles, 202 charging outlets and 89 charging stations in Utah.

We filed for a $4 million federal grant to add rapid-charging stations along 1,500 miles of highways in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho allowing access to local National Parks and to provide incentives to convert business cars to electric vehicles.

The Department of Energy will announce in January 2017 whether our program will receive grant funding.

We also submitted an application with the Utah Public Service commission for a 5-year pilot to provide up to $10 million in incentives for businesses that install charging stations.

Our goal is to give electric car owners a multitude of charging options to make the vehicles as convenient to use as a gas-powered car.

The plan will also provide a rebate to businesses that install rapid-charging stations.

Collectively, these programs will help make Utah one of the premier locations for owning an electric car-which makes getting around more convenient, affordable and environmentally friendly.