Island Park chosen for new electric car charging station - East Idaho News
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Island Park chosen for new electric car charging station

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ISLAND PARK – ChargeWest held an event in Island Park on Thursday to unveil plans to build a new electric car charging station.

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Program projects have been awarded in many places in Idaho already, but soon, Island Park will have its first electric vehicle charging station.

The Idaho Transportation Department is a member of ChargeWest, “a multi-state electric effort to provide consumer education, stakeholder engagement and rural infrastructure development of electric vehicle charging,” according to Justin Smith, a spokesman for ITD.

During the event, many speakers talked about why electric vehicles are important to our infrastructure and environment, detailing their own experiences switching from gas-powered cars to electric vehicles.

“We envision a future where traditional values and innovation go hand in hand to create opportunities so communities can confidently withstand economic uncertainties and continue to thrive for generations to come,” says Ron Goldberg, strategic partnerships director for the Wyoming Business Council.

The event circled around the plan for an increasing number of people to switch to electric vehicles, especially in national parks to preserve wildlife, create quieter atmospheres for animals and cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.

Alicia Cox, executive director of Yellowstone Teton Clean Cities, spoke on behalf of the National Parks Service to note its admiration for the project and the new addition to Island Park.

“Humans cause climate change, and it is affecting our region dramatically now,” says Cox. “Not only do we have an opportunity to lead by example, but we have the responsibility to our communities, as we provide the core for the economic stability of this region.”

Recently the Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities organization was awarded $30,000 in funding from the Teton conservation district to provide scholarships for mechanic training, to support electric vehicle charging stations and the “electric vehicle experience.”

YTCC says its mission is “a greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, where residents and visitors are readily able to access and utilize alternative fuels, advanced vehicle technologies and efficient transportation vehicles.”

The event invited the owners of electric cars to let attendees drive one to see “how fun it is to drive an electric vehicle.”

electric cars
A Tesla and an electric Chevy that were on display at today’s unveiling for plans of an electric charger station in Island Park. | Kaitlyn Hart,

The majority of the vehicles were Teslas, but the event also included electric Chevys, Kias and Fords.

To read more about the program visit the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality website.