EV fast chargers being deployed at local utility company next year

Science & Technology

The following is a news release from Fall River Electric.

ASHTON – Fall River Electric Cooperative is blazing a trail in eastern Idaho toward providing co-op members and the traveling public access to electric vehicle fast chargers in some of the most famous mountain landscapes, and vast swaths of protected wilderness and outdoor recreation areas adjacent to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.

Fall River Electric’s Clint Washburn was joined by Matt Borud, Administrator of the Idaho Commerce Department, Tammie Bostick of Utah Clean Cities, Kyla Maki of the Montana Energy Office, Ron Gullberg of the Wyoming Business Council, and Executive Director Alicia Cox of the Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities at the kickoff event called Charge West.

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality and the Bonneville Environmental Foundation have each provided grants totaling nearly $900,000 to fund the construction of five Level 3 fast chargers to be in Ashton, Driggs, and Island Park Idaho.

Idaho tourism is the state’s third largest industry welcoming 37 million visitors annually that spend nearly $4 billion dollars on food, accommodations, entertainment, and retail goods. Upwards of 84% of tourism spending is generated from out-of-state visitors primarily from California, Utah, and Washington states.

Matt Borud spoke on behalf of Idaho Governor Brad Little regarding the importance of creating an electric vehicle fast charging network.

“Upwards of 75% of visitors to Idaho drive their own vehicles,” Borud said. “Electric vehicle infrastructure in Idaho opens the door for touring drivers to spend their dollars in our local Idaho communities.”

Idaho will award $30M in federal funds to create a network of 48 publicly available fast charging ports including these located in Fall River Electric’s service territory. Fall River will construct, operate, and maintain these EV locations.

“We see a lot of vacation travelers coming to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, and they come through our service territory to get there. We just see there’s a huge need for it. I think there are a lot of travelers who don’t bring their EVs now because of the lack of chargers,” Washburn said.

Construction of Fall River Electric’s EV fast chargers will occur during the spring and early summer of 2023.

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