The Year Of The Electric Car? It’s Complicated

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Photo: Nissan Electric Car Unveiled 2017
Nissan unveiled its new Leaf electric vehicle in 2017.

This could be the year of the electric car. At least that's what people are saying in the Economist, Wired, and on CNN. Colorado's Gov. John Hickenlooper has strong ambitions for electric vehicles in the state. He wants almost a million on the road by 2030. But, according to the Colorado Automobile Dealer's Association, not even one percent of cars sold are electric.

So what gives? John Voelcker, the editor of Green Car Reports and an expert on electric vehicles, joins Colorado Matters from the Chicago Auto Show, to talk about the roadblock. There are a lot of factors at play, he says. The price of the cars is a big one, driven in part by batteries and other technology that haven’t achieved economies of scale yet.

I'm working on a story about #ElectricVehicle use in #Colorado for Friday's @ColoradoMatters -- if you don't drive an EV -- why not? #Automotive

Hickenlooper and six other governors in the West want to create electric charging corridors along Interstate highways, which Voelcker calls a very ambitious plan that places Colorado and the western region in a good place for future EV development. But that leads to another issue: Right now there's no unified look and feel for what a charging station looks like.

Some initiatives like Chargeway are attempting to address that challenge with what it calls “a unifying communication language for the auto industry designed to improve the electric car customer experience.” Charge Ahead Colorado offers a complete rundown of where to find charging stations around the state, as well as other how-to guides.