It’s electric for Earth Day |

It’s electric for Earth Day

An electric charging station in Aspen.
Anna Stonehouse/The Aspen Times

No, not the hit dance song. Rather, the city of Aspen’s roll-out of new car-charging stations and pricing. 

Beginning May 1, the city said it will begin charging a fee for the use of their Level 2 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. Users of Level 2 charging stations will be subject to a $0.25/ kWh charge. 

“The city has been installing EV chargers dating back to 2015,” said Tim Karfs, the city’s sustainability programs administrator.

The costs associated with owning and installing EV charging infrastructure are increasing, city officials said, and municipalities across the country are introducing policies to offset these costs, including increased electricity usage involved with EV charging. 

The update to the city’s charging policy requires EV drivers to pay for a resource that they have previously received for free and is still a more inexpensive option compared to gasoline prices, city officials reasoned.

How did it get electric?

The city set targets for community greenhouse-gas emissions reduction of 63% by 2030 and 100% (zero carbon) by 2050 that officials described as “science-based.” 

As part of the plan to reach these goals, they said the city plans to install 40 EV charging station plugs by 2026. 

There are currently 450 EVs on the road in Pitkin County, which represents 2.37% of the market share – and the numbers are increasing. According to data from the Department of Motor Vehicles, the average number of EV registrations in Pitkin County has risen almost 30% each year since 2010.

Drivers across the world are switching to EVs to offset the cost of increasing gas prices and reduce their carbon footprint, officials said and added that the city is ensuring that EV charging remains accessible and cost effective. Drivers can use the ChargePoint app or the kiosk near the charging station to pay for charging. 

Currently, there are three DCFC fast-charging stations in Aspen and six Level 2 charging stations. The DCFC fast-charging stations are subject to a $0.45/kWh demand charge. The fast-charging stations are near Aspen City Hall, in the Rio Grande Parking Garage, and across from the Rubey Park Transit Center. 

The Level 2 charging stations are in the Rio Grande Parking Garage, Spring Street, and on Main and First streets, with more being added every year. Those charging stations operate on city of Aspen Electric, which is 100% renewable energy. 

“The city is constantly assessing utilization and EV registration data to site more stations,” said Karfs. 

It’s not all clean and tidy 

This Earth Day, he said he and his team want to take the opportunity for a call to action to EV drivers to familiarize themselves with public EV charging equipment and improve EV charging etiquette. 

“This includes leaving spaces after receiving a charge, so another user has the opportunity to charge, reporting maintenance issues to the Parking Department or the station manufacturer, and stowing away charging cords neatly after use,” he said.

For more information about the location of charging stations, charging rates, and EV programs and rebates, visit


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