Skip navigation

Denver Smart City Logo


Clean and Healthy City

Transportation Electrification

Electric vehicles (EVs) represent the cutting edge of technology for transportation. EVs, and the charging stations to power them, are a hotbed for introduction of autonomy and connectivity.

EV’s improve safety on Denver’s roads, remotely control how and when charging occurs, and where the nearest charging station is located.

The information from EVs can be used to maximize an entire utility grid, understand traffic and charging patterns, and inform infrastructure needs. Denver is leveraging EV’s to improve mobility and the environment, simultaneously.

Building a smart city in partnership, Mayor Hancock announced the goal of acquiring 200 EVs by 2020 for the city’s fleet. Supporting the efforts to reduce our carbon footprint, reduce costs, save money, and provide valuable data for future transportation decisions.

Planning for Fast Charging

  • Even though more than 80% of EV drivers leave home with a “full tank” each day, recharging away from home, quickly, is still important. Denver is finishing a study modeling the ideal fast charging locations with a charge in less than 30 minutes. The study also looks to the near future to understand how and where high-power charging will provide 200 miles of range in less than 10 minutes!

Air Quality Analysis

  • Even though EVs have no tailpipe emissions, what about upstream emissions from electricity generation? Well, it depends on where and when you plug-in. Denver is conducting an air quality analysis to understand the local emissions associated with plugging in an EV.

City charging plan

  • Where should charging be located, and how should the City facilitate that charging? Denver is currently examining the potential for charging corridors throughout the City that ensure all communities, including low-income and people living in multi-family housing, have access to charging.

Volkswagen Settlement

  • In response to Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal, they are required to spend $2 billion through a Zero Emission Vehicle Investment Plan and recently requested proposals from throughout the country for how to electrify transportation. Denver’s plan, should it get funded, included elements, like:

    • Charging expansion: The Denver area would have access to the fastest charging stations in the industry into the mountains and throughout the state, including a specific focus on the Denver area. This would allow seamless electric driving to access all of what Colorado has to offer.
    • EV technology showcase: a storefront along 16th St. Mall that would provide access to EV models and technology in a no-pressure environment. Visitors could learn about, drive, and experience cutting edge EVs from experts without getting pressured to buy one.
    • ChargeBar: A series of 4-6 fast chargers and a test location for wireless charging adjacent to the EV technology showcase. Residents and businesses would have access to fast charging in a prime, downtown location.
    • Electro-mobility hub: EV charging, electric car share, e-bike locations, and access to the electric mall-ride would allow for a variety of electric transportation options all in one location. 

Ride Source Electrification

Denver has partnered with General Motors and their Maven program to provide EVs to drivers of ride sourcing programs, like Uber and Lyft. Maven provides EV rentals that cover insurance and maintenance costs to Uber and Lyft drivers. EVs are great for this application because they reduce emissions and lower operating costs, which are traditionally higher for vehicles in ride sourcing applications. 

Charge Station Map

Emissions Measurement 

Connected emissions sensors provide real-time, meaningful data to inform residents and decision makers.

  • Swansea air monitoring station
    • Denver constructed a state-of-the-art air monitoring station to measure air pollution around Swansea elementary school. The station will compare air emissions results from other State sensors to formulate a more complete picture of air quality in the area, and data will help inform transportation decisions.
  • Pilot City
    • A pilot project in partnership with Panasonic’s City NOW deploying air quality monitors on street lights that record real time air pollution and upload the data to the City’s Enterprise Data Management system. This project will help understand the value and optimization of deploying air quality sensors throughout the City. Locating sensors along roadways will inform what we know about air pollution concentrations around traffic corridors.