Boulder County is home to an increasing number of car-charging stations, The Boulder Daily Camera reported in May, while also noting…
“But with so few gas-free cars out on the road — fewer than 10,000 of the more than 12 million cars sold in the United States last year were purely electric — it could be a lonely pit stop for some time to come.”
Let’s take a closer look at this adventure in feel-good energy policy.
The Department of Energy’s Advanced Vehicle Development program funded Project FEVER, an acronym for Fostering Electric Vehicle Expansion in the Rockies. The Daily Camera reported a year ago that the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Project Get Ready was planning to install 40 charge points by June of 2012 for electric vehicles. [The Daily Camera video above accompanied that story.]
“The Denver Metro Clean Cities Coalition, a program administered by the American Lung Association in Colorado, manages Project FEVER as part of their efforts to reduce petroleum consumption in the transportation sector,” according to the Project FEVER website.
The Daily Camera reported in its 2011 story that…
“Boulder has $500,000 to devote to that effort, thanks to a federal grant that was secured with the help of Boulder Congressman Jared Polis.”
Curiously, a CBS4 report in April states that “none of FEVER’s funds will be spent on adding electric vehicle charging stations. That’s because of the wording of the federal grant.”
In any event, it does not appear that 40 of the publicly-funded charge points are currently in place in Boulder County.
It would be prudent not to build those stations until demand materializes. A free-market solution would for electric-car manufacturers to negotiate to build such stations at the appropriate time.
The Camera story does note that Walgreen’s has placed 37 electric charging stations throughout Colorado.
Walgreen’s, a publicly-traded company, seems to be getting mileage out of their green venture, claiming to be “the nation’s largest retail host of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations [with] plans to offer this service at 800 locations.”
As long as public money isn’t involved, good for them.
But committing taxpayer money to backing specific technologies forces other innovations that aren’t subsidized to compete at a disadvantage. That’s one reason why the Obama’s Administration’s record of financing green energy solutions with public money has left such wreckage.