As the popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) continues to rise, Moab, Utah is quickly becoming an important destination for EV owners looking to take a vacation. With its stunning red rock landscape and wide variety of outdoor activities, Moab offers something for everyone.
Local governments and businesses haven’t completely overlooked the opportunity. The City of Moab has taken steps to make it easier for EV owners to visit by installing 33 public charging station ports in and near the city, while a number of hotels and restaurants offer charging. Tesla also has two Supercharger locations in the city.
In addition to visitors in electric cars, electric trucks have become increasingly popular in recent years. This is especially true in Moab, where Hummer EVs, Rivians, Wrangler 4xes, and modified Tesla vehicles have been spotted testing their mettle on the trails next to the gas-powered Jeeps and Broncos. With its rugged terrain and off-roading mecca status, it’s no surprise that a growing number of electric truck owners are spending time there.
Despite all of the progress, there’s still one big problem: a lack of DC fast charging for non-Tesla vehicles. Level 2 charging is plentiful, but that’s only going to be helpful for getting a full charge in the morning. If you spend too long driving on pavement at Arches National Park or head out to one of the many far-flung trails, you could easily find yourself wanting a few more miles of range to finish the day’s fun. Plus, if it’s your last day in town, you’ll probably want to be able to have some fun before you need to leave later in the day, and that’s going to require some more juice.
The problem seemed at least partly solved when Rocky Mountain Power installed a charging station. It was just one stall, but for the low volumes of EVs visiting the area, it was a lot better than nothing. But last year the charging station went down after a flood and hasn’t been repaired since. RMP says it’s a problem with parts availability, but word on PlugShare is that the company doesn’t intend to repair it.
RMP & Electrify Commercial Are Bringing The Power Back
Fortunately, some recent news from Electrify Commercial and Rocky Mountain Power shows some light at the end of the tunnel not just for Moab, but for other Utah communities that need more plugs. Electrify Commercial recently revealed its intentions to assist Rocky Mountain Power, a subsidiary of PacificCorp, by installing 20 EV charging stations across Utah. The undertaking will encompass over 80 separate chargers, distributed among 15 stations in the Salt Lake City vicinity and an additional five stations in nearby areas, making for a total of 20 charging stations in more rural parts of the state.
As a division of Electrify America, Electrify Commercial offers comprehensive, tailor-made EV charging solutions for enterprises, utility firms, fleet proprietors, travel hubs, and convenience stores, while still giving drivers access to the same technology and app as normal Electrify America stations. These upcoming charging stations, owned by Rocky Mountain Power, will be showcased on Electrify America’s nationwide “locate a charger” map, featuring over 800 stations and 3,500 individual chargers. Electrify Commercial will supply its latest charging equipment, installation, networking, as well as continuous operations and maintenance.
Each station will be equipped with a minimum of four chargers, capable of charging compatible vehicles at up to 350 kW, offering efficiency and convenience for EV drivers. Rocky Mountain Power will determine the pricing for these charging stations, while customers can effortlessly access and pay for charging services via the Electrify America mobile app, even if it might cost more than a normal Electrify America station.
“As electric vehicles continue becoming more mainstream, it’s important to expand access and range confidence in all parts of the country,” said Aaron Young, senior manager, commercial networks & fleets, Electrify America. “With a shared commitment to increase EV adoption, reduce tailpipe emissions and improve air quality, we are excited to collaborate with Rocky Mountain Power to deliver 350 kW charging capability to EV drivers in Utah.”
Electrify Commercial offers a distinctive opportunity for organizations such as Rocky Mountain Power to possess their own charging stations while benefiting from Electrify America’s expertise in establishing the largest open DC-fast charging network in the United States. This partnership will aid Rocky Mountain Power in extending the essential EV infrastructure required to support Utah’s future expansion.
“Salt Lake City is the top city in the U.S. to own an electric vehicle, making it more important than ever to provide accessible charging in the region and in other parts of Utah,” said James Campbell, director of innovation and sustainability, Rocky Mountain Power. “Electrify Commercial will play an important role in helping us achieve our electrification goals and enable seamless EV travel throughout the state of Utah.”
The first charging stations in the announcement are expected to open in 2024 in Salt Lake City, the Wasatch Valley Front, and Moab.
Just The Latest Such Deal For Electrify Commercial
This also is far from Electrify Commercial’s first deal. Electrify Commercial has partnered with a number of other organizations to build charging stations. One of the most recent partnerships is with New York Power Authority (NYPA), which will help expand ultra-fast EV charging infrastructure in New York State.
Additionally, Electrify America has collaborated with major corporations such as Meijer to install 36 ultrafast chargers at 9 stations. TravelCenters of America has also entered into an agreement with Electrify America to expand electric vehicle infrastructure. Finally, Pritchard Commercial has partnered with ZEVX to electrify commercial trucks and fleets.
Closer to Utah, they’ve worked with APS to build several stations across Arizona in communities that previously had little access to charging, so the company’s starting to have a pretty big geographic spread for these commercial stations.
Tesla Should Help CCS Drivers in Rural Utah
With Tesla trying to further establish itself as the standard in EV charging, it would make sense for the company to do one more thing to help CCS drivers living in and visiting places like Moab: install Magic Dock. There are already two Supercharger locations, and as we know, installing Magic Dock isn’t a super complex process.
Between some Magic Dock stations and what Electrify Commercial is going to install, Moab could be a lot easier to navigate in an EV.
Featured image provided by Rocky Mountain Power and Electrify America.
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